The TV chef "apologizes to all who were offended" by the controversial photo

By Steve Helling
Updated July 07, 2015 06:15 PM
Credit: Paula Deen/Facebook

Hours after a controversial photo appeared on Paula Deen’s Twitter account, the TV chef has fired her social media manager and apologized to her fans.

In the photo, Deen and her son Bobby were dressed as Lucille Ball and Desi Arnaz. Bobby, 45, was wearing skin-darkening makeup.

After a vitriolic Twitter backlash, the photo was deleted.

“Paula Deen’s Social Media Manager posted a picture this morning of Paula and Bobby Deen dressed in costume as Lucy and Ricky, from I Love Lucy,” her reps said in a statement to PEOPLE. “This photograph is from a Halloween episode of Paula s Best Dishes that aired in 2011.”

“Paula immediately had this picture taken down as soon as she saw the post and apologizes to all who were offended,” the statement continues. “As such, Paula Deen Ventures has terminated their relationship with this Social Media Manager.”

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Deen, 68, has been struggling to rebuild her brand since she faced a career-damaging scandal last year. During a 2013 deposition in a civil case, Deen admitted to using the N-word “a very long time ago.”

After the deposition went public, Deen was dropped by the Food Network and lost several sponsors.