Paula Deen loses Smithfield Foods after Food Network drops her for racial slurs
Paula Deen is having a rough time currently and it may lead to a loss of dough, pun intended. The non-professional chef turned celebrity food star was dropped by Smithfield Foods whom she has worked with since '06 after her contract was dropped by the Food Network last week, (it will not be renewed).
The issue? Deen in sworn testimony in a lawsuit against her restauant admitted to using racial slurs. Despite an apology (and several YouTube videos to explain her position) the Food Network announced they would not renew her contract and was dropping her from their line-up. Smithfield which makes ham products that Deen endorses and uses in her recipes announced they were dropping her as well today.
One has to also remember that not to long ago Deen was a bit cagey about the fact that she had significant medical issues that may or may not have been related to her fat ladden recipes yet continued to promote these mostly unhealthy dishes. She finally admitted she had to not only cut back on the fatty foods but also she was having to use significant medication to control her condition. Although some of her fellow chefs supporter her at that time, there were quite a few who found her lack of honestly of concern.
This latest incident further eroded her credibility and integrity leading some of her business relationships to end their dealings with her. Other companies withwhom she has promotional deals have said they are
"reviewing" their current relationships with Deen leading one to assume she will lose some other financially important deals and income in the near term.
Sometimes when celebrities do "bad" things (cheat, lie, steal, you know the drill) they are able to do a mea culpa and with some time regain their status among the public. Deen has legions of fans many of whom are threatening to boycott the Food Network for dropping her shows. The issue is she now has a serious credibility problem given this is the second unfavorable thing she has had to go public with within past year. Celebrities are getting called out by their sponsors much more frequently these days given the nature of social media and swift negative feedback the public can express that can be very hurtful to companies.
Whole Foods modified their employee choice of language use policy two weeks ago as a result of a powerful social media effort used by Latino groups when two employees were suspended for using Spanish while on the job. (Whole Foods clarified it was not for this reason they were suspended but for the bad judgement and poor behavior they used once they were reprimanded.) The lobbying paid off fast and policy was changed within a matter of days.
Deen has promised to appear on the Today Show on Wednesday to clear things up after she also failed to show for her scheduled interview last week at the last minute.
Watching out for you everyday.