Future of Paula Deen's Deals Uncertain Amid Racial Slur Scandal
Another serving of drama may be coming for Paula Deen, who could lose more deals on the heels of her firing from the Food Network.
A representative for the shopping network QVC, which sells her cookware, released a statement Sunday to PEOPLE that expressed “concerns [over] the unfortunate Paula Deen situation,” adding, “QVC does not tolerate discriminatory behavior.”
Following the celebrity chef’s admission that she used a racial slur in the past, the network is “closely monitoring these events and the ongoing litigation,” continues the representative’s statement, which was first reported by TMZ. “We are reviewing our business relationship with Ms. Deen, and in the meantime, we have no immediate plans to have her appear on QVC.”
Deen, 66, issued a statement less than 24 hours after the Food Network announced on Friday it was dropping the longtime star.
“I have had the pleasure of being allowed into so many homes across the country and meeting people who have shared with me the most touching and personal stories,” she said. “This would not have been possible without the Food Network. Thank you again. Love and best dishes to all of y’all.”
Deen also has a book, titled Paula Deen’s New Testament: 250 Favorite Recipes, All Lightened Up, due to arrive in stores this October. Her publisher, Random House, Inc., has not cancelled her contract. However, a spokesman for Random House, whose imprints include Ballantine Books, tells PEOPLE, “We are monitoring the situation closely.”
Deen’s cookware is also sold at Target, Sears, Walmart, J. C. Penney, and Kmart. Last January, she announced a partnership with Novo Nordisk when she revealed she has type 2 diabetes. The drug maker is standing by her.
“Paula Deen’s 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.”
And they aren’t the only ones watching the situation. Sears Holdings told PEOPLE late Sunday that “the company is currently exploring next steps as they pertain to Ms. Deen’s products.”
• With reporting from LIZA HAMM and RAHA LEWIS