Shortly before the Food Network announced it will not renew its contract with celebrity chef Paula Deen on Friday, the celebrity chef released a video apologizing for the racial comments she made in a deposition last month that became public Wednesday. However, less than an hour-and-a-half after that video was released, it was removed from Youtube and Deen posted a second apology.In her first video, Deen asked for forgiveness for her “inappropriate, hurtful language.”
“I want to apologize to everybody for the wrong that I’ve done. I want to learn and grow from this,” said Deen. “Inappropriate, 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. Please forgive me for the mistakes I’ve made.”
Her second video focused on a planned Today Show appearance that Deen cancelled Friday morning.
“I was invited this morning to speak with Matt Lauer about a subject that has been very hurtful for a lot of people and Matt, I have to say, I was physically not able this morning. The pain has been tremendous that I have caused to myself and to others,” Deen said in that clip. “And so, I’m taking this opportunity now that I have pulled myself together and am able to speak to offer an apology to those that I have hurt. I want people to understand that my family and I are not the kind of people that the press is wanting to say we are.”
Deen gave the deposition as part of a discrimination suit filed against her by Lisa Jackson, a former employee of one of the restaurants she owns. Jackson claimed she was subjected to racist and sexist behavior by Deen’s brother, who ran the restaurant. Deen’s brother and her company were also named in the suit.
In the deposition, Deen admitted to having used the N word and said she told employees she wanted to have a “very southern style wedding” for her brother with an all-black waitstaff. Shortly before the network announced its decision, TPM published excerpts from Deen’s 2006 memoir in which she described an incident from her childhood where she hit a young black girl “with a bolo bat” and another instance where she wanted to cook a “Sambo Burger” on her show and was stopped by producers.
Deen’s representatives have not responded to requests for comment about the book or her Food Network contract.