Paula Deen apologizes for ‘hurtful language’
(CNN) The Food Network will not renew celebrity chef Paula Deen’s contract when it expires at the end of the month, a Food Network spokesperson told CNN on Friday.
Celebrity chef Paula Deen apologized Friday for “the wrong that I’ve done,” a move that follows revelations this week that she admitted to using a racial epithet in the past.
“I want to apologize to everybody for the wrong that I’ve done,” Deen said in the video statement. “I want to learn and grow from this. Inappropriate and hurtful language is totally, totally unacceptable. I’ve made plenty of mistakes along the way but I beg you, my children, my team, my fans, my partners, I beg for your forgiveness.”
Deen’s video statement followed reports that she acknowledged in a lawsuit deposition to using the “N word,” but denied telling racial jokes.
Deen said earlier in the day she would release a video. Her office would not officially confirm the video and it has since been removed from YouTube.
A former manager at Deen’s restaurants in Savannah, Georgia, is suing her and her brother for alleged sexual and racial harassment.
Lisa T. Jackson’s lawsuit alleges that Deen and Bubba Hier committed numerous acts of violence, discrimination and racism that resulted in the end of her five-year employment at Deen’s Lady & Sons and Bubba’s Seafood and Oyster House eateries in Savannah.
Deen’s lawyer has called the allegations false.
“Contrary to media reports, Ms. Deen does not condone or find the use of racial epithets acceptable,” her lawyer, Bill Franklin said. “She is looking forward to her day in court.”
Her company issued a statement Thursday saying Deen used the epithet, but in a “quite different time” in American history.
“She was born 60 years ago when America's South had schools that were segregated, different bathrooms, different restaurants and Americans rode in different parts of the bus. This is not today.”
The Food Network, which airs three shows featuring Deen, issued a statement saying that it would “continue to monitor the situation.”
“Food Network does not tolerate any form of discrimination and is a strong proponent of diversity and inclusion,” the network said.
The language in question was revealed recently as part of a deposition of Deen by Jackson's lawyers in May.
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