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Paula Deen fans vent their outrage at Food Network

By Russ Bynum

Associated Press

LAST UPDATED: 01:34 a.m. HST, Jun 23, 2013

SAVANNAH, Ga. » Watching Paula Deen's cooking show was a weekend ritual for Marilynne Wilson, who says she's furious at the Food Network for dumping the comfort-food queen after she acknowledged using racial slurs in the past.

"I was shocked. I thought she'd get a fair trial," Wilson, a nurse from Jacksonville, Fla., said Saturday after stopping to buy souvenirs at the gift shop Deen owns next to her Savannah restaurant. "I think the Food Network jumped the gun."

A day after announcing that it's dropping Deen from its roster of celebrity cooks, the cable network was served heaping portions of Southern fried outrage by her fans.

Angry messages piled up Saturday on the network's Facebook page, with many Deen fans threating to change the channel for good. "So good-bye Food Network," one viewer wrote. "I hope you fold like an accordion!!!"

The decision to drop Deen, whose daytime shows have been a Food Network fixture since 2002, came two days after disclosure of a recent court deposition in which Deen was asked under oath if she had ever used the N-word. "Yes, of course," 66-year-old Deen said, though she added, "It's been a very long time."

Deen and her brother are being sued by a former manager of their restaurant who says she was harassed and worked in an environment rife with innuendo and racial slurs.

Wilson's friend Debbie Brown said the Food Network is "basically convicting" Deen. "They should have waited until it goes to court," she said.

Deen issued a videotaped apology Friday in asking fans and critics alike for forgiveness. It had been posted online for about an hour when the Food Network released a terse statement that it "will not renew Paula Deen's contract when it expires at the end of this month." The network refused to comment further.

A representative for Deen did not immediately return a phone call and email message Saturday.

Meanwhile, Deen's critics were making themselves heard online. On Friday night, #PaulaDeenTVShows became a top trending topic on Twitter, with postings that satirized familiar titles. Earlier in the week, they tweeted satirical names for recipes using #PaulasBestDishes.

Deen's legal deposition was conducted last month as part of the 2012 lawsuit filed by Lisa Jackson, who worked at Uncle Bubba's Seafood and Oyster House. The lawsuit drew scant attention from news outlets until Deen was questioned under oath and her remarks became available to the public in a transcript.

The controversy didn't keep customers from The Lady & Sons Saturday, the restaurant owned by Deen and her sons in Savannah's downtown historic district.

"If you look at her restaurant here, I don't think it's going to hurt her too much," said Felipe Alexander, an Atlanta trucking company owner, as he waited on the sidewalk for his lunchtime reservation. He also said he didn't blame the Food Network for cutting Deen loose.

"If the network didn't want to be associated with somebody who used that word, it has the right to do that," Alexander said.

The fallout may not end with Food Network. At least two other companies that do business with Deen say they're keeping a close eye on the controversy. Las Vegas-based Caesars Entertainment Corporation, which has Deen's restaurants in some of its casinos, said Friday that it "will continue to monitor the situation." Publisher Ballantine, which has a new Deen book scheduled to roll out this fall, used similar words.

The heat over Deen's remarks hasn't been quite as intense in Savannah, where her success over the past decade has helped raise the coastal Georgia city's profile as a tourist magnet.

The head of Visit Savannah, the city's tourism bureau, weighed in on Deen's plight Saturday on Twitter.

"OK, I'll do it: what @Paula-Deen did was wrong," Joe Marinelli, Visit Savannah's president, tweeted. "But she's part of our @Savannah family and I'm here to support her."

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aomohoa wrote:
Her apology seemed insincere and when asked if she said a racial remark she said "yes, of course." Not yes and I'm sorry. She is only sorry for what she has done to herself. She even said that. She is a racist! Her comfort food is bad for everyone any way. Her contract was up in a month anyway, so it wasn't like they just dropped her. She brought this on her self like many racist do..
on June 22,2013 | 09:44AM
control wrote:
not to mention the multitude of racists and various cyber bullies who post here nearly every day.
on June 22,2013 | 12:11PM
mikethenovice wrote:
Forgive her. She is better at cooking than speaking.
on June 23,2013 | 07:23AM
pandadaddy wrote:
The network had no choice after Paula admitted it.
on June 22,2013 | 09:44AM
serious wrote:
Agreed. But this was the second shoe to drop!! Look at the massive number of people who became diabetic because of her fat foods and then when she became diabetic she became a paid spokesperson for a diabetic drug company!!! As a fellow chef said, it's like going out and intentionally crippling people and then selling them crutches.
on June 23,2013 | 05:13AM
mikethenovice wrote:
No such thing as unhealthy food. Any food is healthy as long as you stick to just consuming one serving.
on June 23,2013 | 06:26AM
bender wrote:
Paula Deen had fans?
on June 22,2013 | 09:49AM
cojef wrote:
Well this article indicate so. Evidently the southerners are supporters so they are indicating viewing another network show. Some in Dixie still want to live like they have in the past. Sad.
on June 22,2013 | 10:33AM
Mythman wrote:
Some? Most, not some......
on June 22,2013 | 03:06PM
Dawg wrote:
A living dichotomy!
on June 22,2013 | 10:27AM
mikethenovice wrote:
Your's is a no can understand dichotomy. Don't let us fill in the blanks. Sit and speak, my Dear.
on June 23,2013 | 06:28AM
bullturd wrote:
Why all of the outcry against Paula Dean. She's 66 years old, raised in Georgia where the N...word was bred into the minds of their offspring's. Old habit's are hard to kick...Smoking is a good example...I rest my case.
on June 22,2013 | 10:49AM
Bdpapa wrote:
I see it that way too.
on June 22,2013 | 11:44AM
menejohn wrote:
no kidding, she's an old fat white lady from the south...can't be a surprise that she's racist. I mean, Food Network had to know this before they even hired her.
on June 22,2013 | 11:57AM
mikethenovice wrote:
If you hate fat people, guess what? They are now 66% of the population now. And why hate them, it's their problem, not your's.
on June 23,2013 | 06:31AM
mikethenovice wrote:
Fat people who exercise are still healthier than a skinny person who doesn't exercise. An old Time Magazine said.
on June 23,2013 | 07:25AM
control wrote:
agree...I don't condone the usuage of slurs but she's a product of her generation from the deep south. What is appalling is the level of nastiness being directed against her. Lots of sick, sick vultures out there with very small minds including the media.
on June 22,2013 | 12:04PM
honopic wrote:
People who object to racial slurs are "vultures" in your mind?
on June 22,2013 | 12:56PM
oxtail01 wrote:
Guess you still think lynching is ok too? If you're a product of THAT generation, it's ok to be a racist?
on June 22,2013 | 04:47PM
honopic wrote:
Not knowing how to pluralize is also an old habit that's hard to kick. Try "offspring" and "habits" for starters. Rest your case if you want, but learn basic grammar.
on June 22,2013 | 12:54PM
bullturd wrote:
Bite me!!!!
on June 22,2013 | 01:38PM
IAmSane wrote:
on June 22,2013 | 02:41PM
oxtail01 wrote:
It's not old habit that makes her still use the N word - it's pure racism!
on June 22,2013 | 04:46PM
mikethenovice wrote:
Don't "rest" your too far. That will be a six feet under, "rest" in Peace.
on June 23,2013 | 06:29AM
ELS wrote:
Paula is 66, the attorney asked if she had Ever used the N-word. Her answer was; of course, many years ago however she would not use it now. The Network took a Knee-Jerk action, much to do about nothing. %0 or so years ago, this was a common word used by Everyone, no matter their color.
on June 22,2013 | 11:12AM
hanalei395 wrote:
With that thick accent, no surprise about racial slurs coming from her.
on June 22,2013 | 11:46AM
localgirl2 wrote:
I agree with Bullturd and Bdpapa. She didn't lie, she was brought up differently in a VERY different time in the DEEP SOUTH. As far as your comment hanalei 395, "With that thick accent, no surprise about racial slurs coming from her." Well if that is the case, suppose that explains (and excuses) the haole slurs from locals who speak Pidgin then? And I suppose you then would condemn pidgin slurs against anyone who isn't local (and Iamlocal) Think about what you've just said. A similar comment in thick local pidgin accent is, a racial slur from a local against one not of the same color or persuasion, is wrong as well? In the end, ok, wrong but SHE DIDN'T try to LIE as many now do. Ok, saying I'm sorry was not part of it as some have said, (I didn't see the clip) and that was wrong, for whatever reason. Let it go, in the end, others have done far worse. She's white, successful and some hate her for it. Yes, agreed, butter all over is NOT HEALTHY for anyone.
on June 22,2013 | 12:12PM
Anonymous_Sources wrote:
Because it is has been scientifically proven that all people with accents are racists. I can only imagine what the French think of me when I try to speak with them in French with my thick American accent.
on June 22,2013 | 01:07PM
hanalei395 wrote:
With a thick Southern American accent ...I hate to tell you.
on June 22,2013 | 01:54PM
lee1957 wrote:
So everyone with a thick Southern American accent is a racist? Got it!
on June 22,2013 | 02:37PM
hanalei395 wrote:
Not you.
on June 22,2013 | 02:45PM
Mythman wrote:
Accents: have you ever heard a black person, the victim, speak, who hails from the deep south? I challenge you to understand what they are saying. Happens me to me a lot when I travel there. Makes me racist? I don't think so. We're dealing with a crazy situation and there might be wrongful termination law suit looming, which would be a good bet given the amount of money involved. Man oh Man, the craziness of fame and publicity today. Did we fire Bill Clinton when that girl roasted his ham in the oval orfice?
on June 22,2013 | 03:11PM
mikethenovice wrote:
Accent happens from what other people who talk like you are around. Not the race. A Japanese person living in Germany will have a German accent.
on June 23,2013 | 06:34AM
mikethenovice wrote:
Can't help it. The whites still think that they are right.
on June 23,2013 | 06:32AM
oxtail01 wrote:
They think of you as a d...b white boy!
on June 22,2013 | 04:48PM
hawaiikone wrote:
So how is your attitude any different than what Deen's used to be?
on June 22,2013 | 07:55PM
hawaiikone wrote:
You really don't realize how racist your comment is?
on June 22,2013 | 02:26PM
hanalei395 wrote:
I wasn't commenting about you.
on June 22,2013 | 02:38PM
hawaiikone wrote:
hanalei, the further we all get away from stereotyping each other the less we'll be suspected of racism, whether justified or not. Just a friendly suggestion.
on June 22,2013 | 03:19PM
Bdpapa wrote:
A lot more racist comments everyday in Hawaii!
on June 22,2013 | 03:09PM
inverse wrote:
Mississippi Burning still is alive and well in the South Same could be said in Hawaii with a similar situation as evidenced by Faye Hano hano and her racist rants. Both are not sorry for what they believe, only sorry that they got caught saying it.
on June 22,2013 | 12:08PM
Anonymous_Sources wrote:
Neither you nor any of us knows what Ms. Deen believes -- except, perhaps, that she may be sorry she told the truth to the money-seeking lawyers of the money-seeking former employee. She, like all of us, had certain values -- political, religious, etc. -- inserted into her head during her upbringing. She acknowledged using the N word in the distant past. Later, when she grew up and could think for herself, she learned better.
on June 22,2013 | 01:02PM
hawaiikone wrote:
Be careful now, a reasonable perspective has no place in these forums...
on June 22,2013 | 02:28PM
oxtail01 wrote:
Yup, she learned how to be a closet racist!
on June 22,2013 | 04:49PM
mikethenovice wrote:
Nothing has changed on this world when we peel back the fancy technology and smartphones. We still have hatred, discrimination, favoritism, nepotism, etc. It's one man for himself yet.
on June 23,2013 | 06:40AM
bumbye wrote:
People are too sensitive nowadays. She's from Savannah, GA for heaven's sake. It's a way of life. Can't change that.
on June 22,2013 | 01:19PM
mikethenovice wrote:
The whites think they are right, and the blacks still resent being taken from their homeland and made into slaves with no respectful treatment.
on June 23,2013 | 06:36AM
residenttaxpayer wrote:
The food network doesn't care if Paula Deen's fans are angry or not...when they cancelled her show they knew that a certain percentage of her fans would no longer watch the channel... not much different from when other programs aren't renewed or are cancelled by the networks....
on June 22,2013 | 01:25PM
mikethenovice wrote:
Guess we will have to wait for the next generation of fresh young ones who have not be exposed to this.
on June 23,2013 | 06:37AM
Kaneohe5 wrote:
Retired from the military and you would hear the blacks calling each other n&;@$:, but some other guy says its and ho the outrage. Whatevers
on June 22,2013 | 01:32PM
nodaddynotthebelt wrote:
It would be interesting to note whether or not her sons continue to work for Food Network.
on June 22,2013 | 02:33PM
st1d wrote:
the food network has the integrity to rid themselves of the appearance of racism.

a&e and whatever the other channel is that took in dog chapman and his racist clan don't mind the racist rants that the chapmans wallow in.

on June 22,2013 | 02:44PM
Mythman wrote:
But Dawg, the psuedo Indian, was cleaning up the tweakers for us......he definitely gave Hawaii a bad image on the tele
on June 22,2013 | 03:45PM
hanalei395 wrote:
A stupid show about bounty hunters ....Ugly people chasing ugly people. ....... But unfortunately, another crappy show, "Hawaii 5-0", is booked for another season.
on June 22,2013 | 04:01PM
CriticalReader wrote:
Not surprised she said it. Not surprised it got into a form that could be reported by the Media, not surprised there are bunches of people "supporting" her, and not surprised she got as far as she did without it being reported in this way. What surprises me is how sad I am that I'm not surprised.
on June 22,2013 | 11:12PM
Mana07 wrote:
Can't have WHITE people using racial slurs....what a load. I too hope food network folds. And all of you with your PC outrage fold...
on June 23,2013 | 03:46AM
nitpikker wrote:
never liked her, never will. she promoted a very unhealthy lifestyle that caught up to her.
on June 23,2013 | 04:45AM
mikethenovice wrote:
She is such a sweet lady. It all depends if she said it with a smile, or if she said it more than once. She didn't mean it, but some people are really sensitive so it's best to stay on the safe side by keeping it under our tongue.
on June 23,2013 | 06:25AM
gaylec wrote:
The rule is: If you say the N-word more than three times in one week then you are a racist. You gotta say it three times - more than three times makes you extremely racist. But if you call an Italian a WOP once, well that is ok.
on June 23,2013 | 08:08AM
COlohe1 wrote:
People became diabetic because of her food...PUHLEEZ!!! So, I became diabetic because I was forced to eat paula's rice, kalua pig, lau-lau, pork adobo, and mac salad practically all my life, yeah right!!! Oh, and what about all the racial slurs that locals have for the other ethnic groups??? I'm sure no one pass the age of nine has ever used any of them!!!
on June 23,2013 | 08:58AM
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