Paula Deen gave an emotional interview on the “Today Show” Wednesday morning where she denied all allegations that she was a racist, but that wasn’t enough to prevent more big business partners from dropping her including Walmart and four buffet style restaurants.
Things aren’t getting any better for the famous Southern-style chef as her multi-million dollar culinary empire seems to be crumbling apart right before her eyes.
Deen claimed she wasn’t emotionally ready to appear on the “Today Show” last Friday, but she managed to get herself together to appear on the show for an exclusive interview with Matt Lauer who didn’t hold back.
The beloved country cook started out keeping her composure but it wasn’t long before she broke down during the interview.
“I believe that every creature on this earth – every one of God’s creatures – was created equal,” Deen said as she insisted she isn’t a racist.
“I know my love for people, and I’m not going to sit here and tell everything I’ve done for people of color,” she added. “I would never hurt anyone on purpose.”
She went on to express that she was “heartbroken” over everything that has happened and she has even had to console friends after they heard about the stories of Deen in the media.
She also opened up about the type of language that many young people use when referring to each other today that may suggest something hypocritical about the nation’s reaction to Deen’s comments.
“I don’t know, I have asked myself that so many times,” Deen said when asked if she believed the N-word was a racist word. “I go into my kitchens and hear what these young people are calling each other. It’s very distressing for me. I think for this problem to be worked on these young people are gonna have to take control and start showing respect for each other.”
Towards the end of the interview the 66-year-old Georgia native claimed she isn’t going to make any changes about herself and encouraged people to realize that they aren’t perfect.
“I is what I is and I’m not changing,” Deen said before making a Biblical reference that had the audience silent.
“If there’s anyone out there that has never said something that they wish they could take back, please pick up that stone and throw it so hard at my head that it kills me,” Deen requested. “Please. I want to meet you.”
Meanwhile, her business partners are still dropping like flies and Walmart has become the latest sponsor to drop her.
Just hours after the interview Walmart still decided to pull the plug and cease any future orders on Paula Deen’s products.
In addition to what is perhaps the nation’s largest retailer breaking ties with her, four of the buffet style restaurants she was associated with also decided to break ties with her.
Ceasars Entertainment Corp. said it has “mutually decided” to have Deen’s name removed from restaurants in Illinois, Mississippi, North Carolina, and Indiana.