WATCH: Paula Deen’s Apology Video Skips Out on Specifics

“Inappropriate, hurtful language is totally, totally unacceptable,” the TV chef said

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Updated: Friday, June 21, at 6:10 p.m EST.

After two days of public backlash over revelations of celebrity chef Paula Deen’s tolerance for racism and use of racial epithets, the 66-year-old released three apology videos on Friday afternoon. Following her first video’s release and subsequent removal from her YouTube channel, the Food Network announced it would not be renewing Deen’s contract at the end of the month.

The first, 46-second video features a flush-faced Deen asking for forgiveness. “Inappropriate, hurtful language is totally, totally unacceptable,” she said. “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.” The brief apology features several jump cuts, lacks any explanation for her “hurtful language” and fails to detail which mistakes she regrets.

(MORE: Less Than Accidental Racist: Why Paula Deen’s Comments Insult Her Fans Too)

While she still didn’t get into the details of her wrongdoing, the second video revealed a more composed Deen reiterating her apology. “Your color of your skin, your religion, your sexual preference does not matter to me” she said. “It’s whats in the heart, and my family and I try to live by that.”

Deen’s much-anticipated trilogy follows her no-show on this morning’s Today Show, which promised an exclusive interview by Matt Lauer and possibly a hearty bowl of apology soup. But citing exhaustion, the queen of southern comfort cooking canceled, and instead released a third apology video directed at Matt Lauer.

The public scrutiny of Deen’s behavior began Wednesday, when initial reports revealed statements she made during a deposition for a discrimination and sexual-harassment lawsuit filed by her former employee. The fried-food loving chef allegedly admitted to using racial epithets and making racist jokes, as well as proposing the idea of a “really Southern plantation wedding” for her brother Earl “Bubba” Hiers (who the lawsuit is also against), which would have involved black waitstaff portraying the role of antebellum slaves. On Thursday Deen’s lawyer issued a brief apology, “Contrary to media reports. Ms. Deen does not condone or find the use of racial epithets acceptable. She is looking forward to her day in court.”

While Deen’s apologetic tone seemed genuine, the lack of specifics undercut her message. For once, it seems the Southern chef could use a little more butter.

MORE: Paula Deen “Beg[s] for Your Forgiveness,” For Something

*This post has been updated to include The Food Network’s announcement regarding Paula Deen’s contract and Deen’s release of two more apology videos.

52 comments
mrtony60
mrtony60

Once again we as American are reverting to the issues of Race.  When will this nation wake up to the reality of the 21 century and beyond.  If any of you people are doing your homework you will realize that the future of not only of this country but of this planet will become more brown and multi-racial, not saying it's bad or good just stating what is going to happen.  America and Americans are our own worst enemies.

We have been the envy of the known world and now it seems we are getting more and more self-centered and less caring.  I mean look at the income gaps of this nation!  Ms. Deen and her camp if they are liable for such remarks then that is very sad because they sound have realized their position in the media and their influence and not take their success for granted!  I'm pleased the Food Network will not have them back. There is no place for such behavior.  Frankly, we as American should be eating more healthy food anyway!!!

mrbomb13
mrbomb13

This scandal is actually funny, because the media is giving free PR to Paula Deen.  Her brand may be tarnished now, but give it a couple of years.  The public will have largely forgotten, and Ms. Deen will be allowed to return to the spot-light.  It happened to Michael Richards (of Seinfeld fame), and it can certainly happen to her.

Also, the media needs a reality check on dealing with racists and racism in general.  Paula Deen is only apologizing to look good on paper and TV.  Those beliefs of hers are deeply embedded, and she's only putting on an act.  By thinking they're crucifying her, the media's only fooling itself. 

It will be that same media who welcomes her back in 2-3 years...

Loves2write
Loves2write

Well, one thing for sure. After reading that court document, if it's true, this white woman who is suing, shouldn't be. All the AA employees should be suing. The white woman doing the suing should have left her job immediately. She was tolerating the name calling, and abuse for 5 years plus. To me she shouldn't get a dime, because she was part of the problem. It seems that Bubba, Paula Deen's brother, was the real demon in this. Paula said inappropriate things, but her brother was the real problem. If this is true. It hasn't gone to court yet. I think Paula, at age 67 should just retire now, & let her sons run the business. If these allegations are true, then the manager that is now suing, stayed on all that time & tolerated this behavior from Bubba. Now she wants money. The money should go to the AA workers who were abused, not this white woman Manager.

Hermione
Hermione

Both parties are a disgrace. 

What a bunch of foolishness.

eld57
eld57

Why are we wasting time on her words.  We all offend folks, some intentional and some non intentional.  Let her be, she will pay for her mistakes dearly.  Every one has "names' and comments for other people and some are corrected and some not.  Yes it is an offensive word, as are many that are used to describe particular races, sexual preferences, cultures etc.. But it seems one sided sometimes.  I always wonder when these lawsuits come out on famous folks if that same accuser would do it on a smaller less known person.  Get over it and move on.

7A0444
7A0444

This woman has a new fan!



aztecian
aztecian

good riddance to general lee's great granddaughter.  her food was unhealthy, you shouldn't eat it.

SmoothEdward1
SmoothEdward1

There are still too many older Southerners who just don't get why saying this kind of stuff is offensive. My guess is most would no longer practice overt discrimination, but the social norms which influence attitudes, take a long time to change. How else could someone of normal intelligence suggest such things as a traditional southern wedding with black men dressed as house slaves? How could you not know that would be perceived as offensive by the descendants of slaves? smh. 

llaw
llaw

Well, it's going to hit her straight were it hurts and that's her pocket.  She should know what's done in the dark comes to light.  Guess she won't have to worry about N!@#%s anymore more! 

gigi13
gigi13

This just may be another company that lets themselves be brought down by nepotism (hiring of family members).  There is absolutely nothing wrong with that if the family members are competent and have a focus on the best interest of the company and it's employees.  Too often incompetent family members are put in executive management positions and feel that the rules don't apply to them.  In this case it appears that Mr. Hiers has been allowed to commit atrocities until he has a God complex.  He should have been kickd to the curb years ago and Paula should have hired a competent personnel director to clean up her act.

MaggieRae
MaggieRae

As a woman of COLOUR, I do not feel the media is blowing this story out of proportion. Nor, am I willing to accept this idea that 'all groups get talked about' as an excuse for the wrong actions and words of other people. To say that what she said was "stupid" or she was an "idiot" or it was a "dumb" thing to say, is just 'white-washing" a serious problem that many white people have in this country. As soon as I heard the statement Paula Deen made about her ideal dream party included little black boys dress in black uniforms, I was instantly reminded of my own experiences while growing up in the South. While in high school, I worked for one of the richest Old South Aristocrat families in town. They ran their house the way they were run before the Civil War. The "help" wore white uniforms, but on special occasions and events, they wore black uniforms and white aprons with a little white head gear. I remember seeing the couple's wedding picture album, and I was just shocked at how the black "help" looked and what they were doing. The males (young black men) wore black uniforms that looked like tuxedos, white shirts, and white gloves. The females wore black uniforms, white aprons, white gloves, and the little white head piece. But the thing that really got me, was, the men/boys were standing at each table (garden reception) with these huge feather fans; making sure the guest were cool and to keep any flying creatures at bay. These pictures told me a lot about how some white Southerners viewed/view the roles of black people in this country. This is a long story I know, however, we cannot solve what is a very serious problem by just dismissing the kind of things that Paula Deen said as a slip or the tongue, or a mistake. We need to look way beneath the surface of such attitudes and face the reality that the Black and White race divide in the country does indeed (no pun intended) exist. And the more we dismiss it, the more t will continue to exist.

Kiki-W
Kiki-W

As a woman of COLOR, I've been making a list today of sites blowing this out of proportion. TIME, you are trying to make out like just because we're African Americam, we are unforgiving. Do you really think we are? So what, she messed up. At least she apologized, unlike many others! Stop painting us like we're SO fragile! If you don't think we see hpw you're trying to play to us TIME, you're blind. Gp after the racists who DON'T apologize, there are plenty.

JenniferRomano
JenniferRomano

Anyone else notice this is a WHITE WOMAN trying to make a buck off of racism. I think this broad is mad cause she screwed up and got herself fired and now shes looking to cause problems. The entire deposition is saying that she had to be there for a very long period of time what she didn't grow upset until she was relieved of her duties? People really look at what you are looking at. yes Paula deen said some horrible things but the fact of the matter is EVERYONE says stupid stuff. people that are saying read the deposition first and you will think just as bad of mrs deen really you need to re-read it and see for yourself its just a scheme to get the lime light and create problems because she (mrs.Jackson) didn't get her way with all the companies.

TREJACKSON
TREJACKSON

Paula Deen makes a living off of what our Black Grandmothers/Grandfathers have been cooking and preparing every Sunday for the past 200 years...... I admit I really liked her down home flavor & personality when Oprah and Gayle spent the weekend with her in Savannah, GA (need I say more about racial equality there).....but now I wonder what was said/done when they left the large DEEN COMPOUND.....did she throw away the sheets, cups, towels, and drain the pool? Excuse me I meant the lake.

dhalluhuru
dhalluhuru

the thing of it is people say a lot of mean, ignorant, stupid and hurtful things in privacy but understand when you get caught there are consequences and that is the bottom line: and just because there is such a thing as freedom of speech does not mean that people are going to sit around and tolerate someone speaking to them in a manner that is abusive and insulting...so the next time you me or anyone else for that matter is sitting around  talking boo boo we better be well aware of our surroundings and understand that "sticks and stones will hurt peoples bones and words can hurt them to"

carlrusso
carlrusso

All I can say is we are all human and make stupid mistakes and say stupid things some times I am sure ever last one of us has said something we no was wrong hurtful about another race, religion another's sexually preference gay lesbian in one way or another if you deny it shame on you but it happens .There is only one person she need to answer to and he is also a forgiving man. She didn't murder anyone if the statements are true which we don't know for sure what happen because we were not there.

DurranceTammy
DurranceTammy

Paula DEEN IS BEING SCRUTINIZED BY SAYING AN INAPPROPRIATE RACIAL COMMENT HOWEVER THE REALITY OF IT PEOPLE IS THAT EVERY HUMAN BEING IN THIS ENTIRE WORLD HAS MADE AN INAPPROPRIATE RACIAL COMMENT AT SOME POINT IN TIME IN THEIR LIFE. IS IT OK NO, BUT WILL FOOD NETWORK ASK ALL OF THEIR STARS IF THEY HAVE EVER MADE A RACIAL COMMENT AND FIRE THEM TOO?

DurranceTammy
DurranceTammy

PAULA DEEN IS BEING SCRUTINIZED BY SAYING AN INAPPROPRIATE RACIAL COMMENT HOWEVER THE REALITY OF IT PEOPLE IS THAT EVERY HUMAN BEING IN THIS ENTIRE WORLD HAS MADE AN INAPPROPRIATE RACIAL COMMENT AT SOME POINT IN TIME IN THEIR LIFE. IS IT OK NO, BUT WILL FOOD NETWORK ASK ALL OF THEIR STARS IF THEY HAVE EVER MADE A RACIAL COMMENT AND FIRE THEM TOO?

buffalo.barnes102
buffalo.barnes102

Ah! The all-purpose "apology".  As with most apologies that we are forced to make, this one is not worth the time it took her lawyer to make it up for her.

DeweySayenoff
DeweySayenoff

Considering my aversion to the Food Network (I don't seen anything at all dramatic about food, and contrived BS about cooks in a "reality show" is just too ridiculous of a concept to bear), my only response to this is, "Who the hell is Paula Dean?"

Until thus rhubarb about racial slurs, I'd never heard of the woman - and it's not like I live in a vacuum, either.  Upon hearing about it (ad nauseum) I'm even less inclined to bother with TV shows that revolve around cooks or restaurants or both.  But this proves not only is there nothing good on TV, apparently, there is nothing really that good in the kitchen, either.

KarlyCorinthos
KarlyCorinthos

She is just a southern bell who according to her staff treated them like dirt and occasionally called them racial slurs, happens all the time. All she wanted to do was host a wedding where the black employees all dressed up like slaves, you know per civil war era kinda, how cute! Not!!!!!!!!!!!!

pattic
pattic

what is this country coming to when it is inappropriate to express yourself?  everyone has a right to their opinion.  we still have freedom of speech.  let you who are without opinion cast the first stone.  it seems you all have an opinion about Ms Deen's opinion.   The word hypocrite comes quickly to mind.

Abbynormal
Abbynormal

All she is sorry about is she got caught and it is going to cost her money.