Paula Deen, the embattled queen of Southern cuisine, released a statement Friday apologizing for her "inappropriate, hurtful language" following what may very well be the hardest week of her career.
A Food Network spokesman told TPM's Hunter Walker Friday afternoon that the company will not be renewing Deen's contract, which expires at the end of June. This means Deen has nine days left with the culinary network that made her a star. The announcement came merely hours after Deen released her video online.
The chef, who was a no-show Friday morning for her heavily-touted, scheduled appearance on the "Today" show, admitted in a leaked deposition conducted in May and filed Monday that she had used racial slurs in the workplace.
A visibly upset Matt Lauer shared with viewers at the onset of Friday's "Today" show that Deen's scheduled appearance - something NBC had touted as a live, "no-holds barred" discussion - was canceled. "We just found out she's a no-show," Lauer announced. "She has not called us at all this morning," he added, citing her rep who informed the studio that Deen was "exhausted" after her flight to New York. Lauer later shared on Twitter, "Hoping to get more info on the Paula Deen situation soon. Very confusing."
Deen's no-show on NBC's morning television program only aggravated an already-controversial situation. Though the 66-year-old cook skipped the hot seat to discuss live her failings Friday morning, she finally felt the need to address the public several hours later.
A former manager filed a discrimination lawsuit against Deen in May, alleging that she had been sexually harassed in a "hostile" workplace environment. The controversy bubbled over this week after a court deposition was filed in which the plaintiff's attorney asked Deen if she had ever used racial slurs, particularly the N-word. "Yes, of course," Deen disclosed. "It's been a very long time."
Deen has built her empire based on her TV shows and products. "Paula's Home Cooking" began airing in 2002 and "Paula's Best Dishes" was added to the Food Network in 2008.