While contracts disappear for the chef, fans rally to buy her cookbook and cruise tickets
While businesses continue to bail on Paula Deen in light of the racial controversy that is damaging her reputation as the Queen of Southern Cooking, fans are showing that she is not alone in this fight.
Based on an earlier Forbes story published Thursday morning, PEOPLE reported Deen had been dropped from the Novo Nordisk deal that caused a stir last year when she announced that she had ben living with Type 2 diabetes for three years – but a spokesperson for the global healthcare company says that simply isn’t true.
“It’s too early to suggest what we will wind up doing but we have not dropped Paula Deen,” the spokesperson said. “We just felt the recent controversy affected her ability to help manage and work towards our mission which is around changing diabetes. It’s unclear what effect this controversy will have on users of the diabetes drug.”
The spokesperson continued, “People need to focus on the fact that diabetes is a serious personal disease. They manage the disease on their own terms. I would never suggest people should make a decision about managing there disease based on an emotional decision. If a drug is helping them effectively manage their diabetes, then that should be their deciding factor and that should be a decision between them and their doctor.”
Target also has decided to get out of the Deen business.
“We have made a decision to phase out the Paula Deen merchandise in our stores as well as on Target.com. Once the merchandise is sold out, we will not be replenishing inventory,” the brand said in a statement on Thursday.
QVC has decided to “pause” their relationship with Deen. In a letter to customers on Thursday, President and CEO Mike George wrote, “We have talked with Paula and her team extensively over the last several days, and together we have considered what is best for our customers, for Paula, and for QVC. For now, we have decided to take a pause.”
He continued, “Paula won t be appearing on any upcoming broadcasts and we will phase out her product assortment on our online sales channels over the next few months. We all think it s important, at this moment, for Paula to concentrate on responding to the allegations against her and on her path forward.”
Deen also issued a letter to the televised shopping network’s customers, writing, “As you know, I have some important things to work on right now, both personally and professionally. And so we ve agreed that it s best for me to step back from QVC and focus on setting things right. I am truly sorry and assure you I will work hard to earn your forgiveness.”
But Deen fans are showing their support online: Along with posting their ire on Food Network’s Facebook page, Deen’s upcoming cookbook Paula Deen’s New Testament: 250 Favorite Recipes, All Lightened Up has shot to the No.1 spot on Amazon.com.
Additionally, tickets to the annual Paula Deen cruise have been so popular a second voyage has been added to the schedule for 2014.
“Due to so many requests from Paula s fans in the past we are actually planning two cruises for 2014 and look forward to both,” a rep for the cruise told FOX411’s Pop Tarts column. “It s always an amazing time with Paula, her family and fans. If she goes – we go.”
• Reporting by RAHA LEWS