Paula Deen Going on 'Today' Show for Chance To Explain Racial Slur

Image: Paula Deen Going on 'Today' Show for Chance To Explain Racial Slur

Monday, 24 Jun 2013 11:27 AM

By Clyde Hughes

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Paula Deen, the celebrity chef who just lost her television gig in connection to racial slurs she admitted using during a court deposition, will have another shot to explain herself on the "Today" show Wednesday. But is it too late?

"Today" show host Matt Lauer made the announcement Monday via Twitter. Deen reneged on a previously scheduled interview on Friday, according to USA Today. The Food Network announced last week it would not renew Deen's contract, according to People.com.

She also issued a video public apology.

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Deen is facing mounting criticism for a court deposition in a lawsuit where she admitted to using the n-word. The lawsuit was brought against Deen and her brother, Bubba Hiers, by Lisa Jackson, a former manager of Uncle Bubba's Seafood and Oyster House in Savannah, Ga., according to USA Today. Jackson has charged sexual and racial harassment in the lawsuit.

Some experts say Deen will never be able to return to the height of her past popularity because of her disclosure in court.

"Paula Deen will survive but she will never be whole again," Reputation.com's vice chairman Howard Bragman told USA Today. "She will never make as much money, she will never have the respect that she once had, there are people that will never be in business with her again."

Mark Pasetsky, CEO of Mark Allen & Co., a public relations and marketing firm, told USA Today that she agreed with Bragman. He said the damage to Deen will never be able to be completely repaired.

"Her brand is now tainted beyond recourse," he said. "Her comments are highly offensive, and I don't see another network getting behind her and supporting her and giving her a new show."

Evangelia Souris, president of Boston-based Optimum International Center for Image Management said to USA Today that Deen needs to move away from the video speeches and personally engage the public and even African-American journalists.

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"She needs to do the public appearance apology and then lie low and out of the public eye for a while," Souris said. "Then when some time has gone by, she should start building her image strategically: Align herself with goodwill events, causes, etc. This would allow her to be seen in a positive way."

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