clock menu more-arrow no yes

Filed under:

Paula Deen's Endorsement Deals: Who's In & Who's Out

New, 164 comments

If you buy something from an Eater link, Vox Media may earn a commission. See our ethics policy.

Paula Deen's career is in freefall right now. First, the Food Network fired her after a botched attempt to apologize for leaked deposition transcripts in which she admitted to having used the N-word. Next, endorsement deals started dropping: first Smithfield Foods on Monday, and then today Caesars shuttered four of her restaurants. Almost all of her partners have at least commented — party line seems to be that everyone's "monitoring the situation" — and a surprising number of brands are standing by Deen. Below, Eater settles the score on who's in, who's out, and who's waiting to see what everyone else does before they make a decision. (Looking at you, Walmart.)

Oh, and for the record:

IN: 5
OUT: 8
UNCLEAR: 2

UPDATE: Walmart has axed Paula Deen.


Walmart

walmart-mullet.jpgProducts Sold: All kinds of stuff, including Deen's bizarre finishing butters scheme.
Statement: A spokesperson told Eater: "We are ending our relationship with Paula Deen Enterprises and we will not place new orders beyond those already committed...We will work with suppliers to address existing inventories and agreements."
IN or OUT? OUT.
[Photo: Walmart]


Smithfield

pauladeenham.jpgProducts Sold: Hams, pork products.
Statement: Keira Lombardo, Vice President of Investor Relations and Corporate Communications, tells Eater: "Smithfield condemns the use of offensive and discriminatory language and behavior of any kind. Therefore, we are terminating our partnership with Paula Deen. Smithfield is determined to be an ethical food industry leader and it is important that our values and those of our spokespeople are properly aligned."
IN or OUT? OUT.
[Photo: Smithfield]


Novo Nordisk

paula-deen-riding-victoza.jpgProducts Sold: Victoza, a diabetes drug.
Statement: UPDATE: Novo Nordisk has reversed their position on Deen, and released a new statement: "Novo Nordisk and Paula Deen have mutually agreed to suspend our patient education activities for now, while she takes time to focus her attention where it is needed. Novo Nordisk would like to acknowledge Paula's involvement in our Diabetes in a New Light™ campaign, where she has helped make many people aware of type 2 diabetes and the lifestyle changes needed to control this serious disease."
IN or OUT? OUT.

Here's Novo Nordisk's original statment: "Paula Deen is still a product spokesperson for the Victoza brand. We recognize the seriousness of these allegations and will follow the legal proceedings closely, staying in contact with her. As a company committed to improving the lives of people with diabetes, Novo Nordisk engaged Deen as a spokeswoman because of Paula's commitment to increasing awareness about diabetes to millions of people in this country. We do not condone racial intolerance of any kind and have spoken to Paula about her comments in the deposition. While she takes a more proactive approach to clearing up her comments, our focus will continue to be to provide the best care possible to all of our patients where we work and live."


Hoffman Media

cookingwithpauladeen.jpgProducts Sold: Paula Deen's magazine, Cooking With Paula Deen.
Statement: There has not been an official statement as yet, but Al.com spoke with Hoffman president Phyllis Hoffman DePiano, who said "We are not in a position to discuss her magazine and contract right now. A statement will be forthcoming later...We at Hoffman Media do not condone discrimination of any kind."
IN or OUT? Unclear.


Universal Furniture

pauladeenhome.jpgProducts Sold: Paula Deen Home line of furnishings.
Statement: President Jeff Scheffer sent a letter to customers: "As you know, the hype around this matter has many people rushing to judgment as well as many others rushing to Paula's defense. We believe it is only fair to you, our dealer, our company and frankly Paula herself to let the facts play out before taking any action. We have had several conversations with Paula and her team over the weekend...Discrimination of any sort is contrary to both our personal and our corporate philosophy. Our company is in fact full of diversity and we are richer for it."
IN or OUT? IN.
[Photo: Paula Deen Home]


Springer Mountain Farms

deen-chicken.jpgProducts Sold: Chicken meat.
Statement: A post to Facebook this morning: "We support Paula Deen. We have worked closely with her for the last two years and know her to be a compassionate, caring person. We have seen her with all types of people and have never seen any sign of prejudice. We truly believe her when she says she is sorry for any hurt feeling she has caused. We are very pleased with the interview Paula Deen gave this morning offering her apologies and reaffirming her personal commitment to equality and fairness for all. As an organization we believe that she and her team are on the right track and we look forward to continuing to work together."
IN or OUT? IN.
[Photo: Springer Mountain / Facebook]


Alice Travel

deencruise.jpgProducts Sold: Paula Deen Cruises.
Statement: A rep told Eater: "Due to the amazing response we've had in the past years from Paula's fans, we are actually planning 2 Paula Deen Cruises for 2014. In the 5 years that I have been working with Paula and her staff it has been an amazing journey. I listen to so many people telling Paula their stories of how she inspired them when they were going through bad times. I had the same experience, so I understand. If Paula goes, we go with her and from what we are hearing, so are her fans."
IN or OUT? IN, and doubling up.
[Photo: Paula Deen]


Metro Cooking Show Dallas

metrocooking.jpgProducts Sold: Appearances.
Statement: A rep tells Eater: "Paula Deen has been a friend of The Metropolitan Cooking & Entertaining Show for many years. She has apologized and we are taking her apology at her word and moving forward accordingly. The Metropolitan Cooking & Entertaining Show does not condone or believe in the use of derogatory slurs by anyone. This is a nation of forgiveness and second chances. In that spirit we intend to go forward with the MetroCooking Shows in Houston, Dallas and Washington, DC as planned with Paula as a presenter. At this time we have no plans to do otherwise."
IN or OUT? IN.
[Photo: Paula Deen / Facebook]


QVC

deenqvc.jpgProducts Sold: A variety of her products.
Statement: VP of Corporate Communications Paul Capelli tells Eater: "QVC shares the concerns being raised around the unfortunate Paula Deen situation.  QVC does not tolerate discriminatory behavior.  We are closely monitoring these events and the ongoing litigation.  We are reviewing our business relationship with Ms. Deen, and in the meantime, we have no immediate plans to have her appear on QVC." Update 06/27: QVC has "decided to take a pause."
IN or OUT? OUT (for now)
[Photo: QVC]


New York City Wine and Food Festival

deeniebrunch.jpgProducts Sold: Paula Deen Classic Comfort Brunch, among other past festival events.
Statement: Marketing and PR Director Devonie Nicholas tells Eater, "Paula and her family are longtime supporters of our Festivals, and this is an unfortunate situation." Also, "Our run of show has not changed since it was announced on May 15th."
IN or OUT? IN, at least for this next NYCWFF.
[Photo: NYCWFF]


Ballantine Books

covernotfinal.jpgProducts Sold: Cookbooks. She actually just switched over to Ballantine from Simon & Schuster recently. She has a deal for "two cookbooks and three original e-books," one of which, Paula Deen's New Testament (yes that's really what it's called), comes out this Fall.
Statement: None yet.
IN or OUT? Unclear, but if the skyrocketing pre-orders are any indication, we're guessing they're IN.


Target

pdctarget.jpgProducts Sold: Cookware, mostly.
Statement: A spokesperson tells Eater on Thursday June 27: " "We have made a decision to phase out the Paula Deen merchandise in our stores as well as on Target.com."
IN or OUT? OUT.
[Photo: Paula Deen / Facebook]


Caesars Entertainment

harrahs-tunica-250.jpgProducts Sold: Four restaurants in different casinos.
Statement: Per a statement: "Caesars Entertainment Corporation (NASDAQ: CZR) announced today it has reached a mutual agreement with Paula Deen Enterprises (PDE) not to renew the two companies' business relationship. Caesars operates Paula Deen-themed restaurants at four of its properties. Caesars intends to rebrand the restaurants in the coming months."
IN or OUT? OUT.
[Photo: Paula Deen Buffet / Facebook]


Whit-Ash Furnishings

whit-ash-250.jpgProducts Sold: It's unclear if they sold Paula Deen Home, but she did do a commercial for the Columbia, South Carolina furniture store. (See below.)
Statement: No direct quotes were available, but WLTX reports Whit-Ash pulled the ad from air.
IN or OUT? OUT.


Home Depot

paula-deen-home-depot.jpgProducts Sold: Cookware.
Statement: No statement, but they told NBC that "the company will stop carrying Paula Deen-branded items under their kitchen and cookware category as a result of the scandal."
IN or OUT? OUT.
[Photo: Home Depot]


Video: Paula Deen for Whit-Ash Furnishings

· All PaulaDeenGate Coverage on Eater [-E-]
· All Paula Deen Coverage on Eater [-E-]

Sign up for the Sign up for the Eater newsletter

The freshest news from the food world every day