Walmart Ends Relationship with Paula Deen

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Paula Deen
AP
By ANNE D'INNOCENZIO

NEW YORK (AP) - Paula Deen lost another chunk of her empire on Wednesday.

Wal-Mart Stores (WMT) announced that it has ended its relationship with the Southern celebrity chef, part of the continuing fallout in the wake of revelations that she used racial slurs in the past. The world's largest retailer, based in Bentonville, Ark., has been carrying a variety of products from grocery items to health and wellness products under her moniker since 2011.

"We will not place new orders beyond those already committed," said Dave Tovar, a Wal-Mart spokesman. "We will work with suppliers to address existing inventories and agreements."

Tovar said the retailer is still working through the details with suppliers.

The severed ties with Wal-Mart are the latest blow to Deen's business. Meanwhile, Paula Deen's name is being stripped from four buffet restaurants owned by Caesars. Caesars said Wednesday that its decision to rebrand its restaurants in Joliet, Ill.; Tunica, Miss.; Cherokee, N.C.; and Elizabether, Ind., was a mutual one with Deen.

Last week, the Food Network said that it would not renew the celebrity cook's contract. And on Monday, Smithfield Foods (SFD) said it was dropping her as a spokeswoman. Smithfield sold Paula Deen-branded hams in addition to featuring her as a spokeswoman.

Meanwhile, the celebrity chef's representatives distributed four letters supporting Deen from other companies that work with her, as she fights to keep her business empire from crumbling.

Target Corp. (TGT), which carried Paul Deen-branded merchandise, reiterated Wednesday it was "evaluating the situation."

Deen appeared in a "Today" show interview earlier Wednesday, dissolving into tears and saying that anyone in the audience who's never said anything they've regretted should pick up a rock and throw it at her head.

The chef, who specializes in Southern comfort food, repeated that she's not a racist.

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AP Television Writer Dave Bauder contributed to this report.


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158 Comments

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markagan

If I were Paula Deen I would not want my name associated with the Walton Family. This family has been responsible for the closure of thousands of US businesses and the lost of tens of Thousands of American jobs. They daily commit corporate racisim by taking advantage of people in forign countries who slave for 16 hours a day for pennies. These people are of other races living in poverty, unable to provide for their families and denied any future just so the Walton family does not have to pay Americans to produce goods. They are dispicable and as greedy as it gets so don't worry Paula, you do not need Wal-Mart.

July 01 2013 at 2:32 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
MRSMYKEY

So Paula Dean doesnt like black people.....so what? I've never met a black person that liked white people. ...and they are a lot more crude and verbal about it. Doesnt make them bad people....just a bit narrow minded and ignorant for verbalizing it.

June 29 2013 at 10:25 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
grstewartcpa

boycott Walmart

June 27 2013 at 1:43 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Janet

Wow America end relationship with WalMart.....Good idea, What the heck does a racial slur, forever ago, have to do with the way Paula Dean cooks? Wonder if anyone ever heard the phrase Judge not, lest you be judged.

June 27 2013 at 1:15 PM Report abuse +2 rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to Janet's comment
theycallmeroy3

I'm sure Walmart and Target have forgiven her Janet, they just haven't forgiven the contract she signed.

June 27 2013 at 1:23 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
usmaels1

I can see K Mart dumping Paula, but not Walmart. It is generally known that K Mart is the black mans Walmart.

June 27 2013 at 12:32 PM Report abuse -3 rate up rate down Reply
bphylmel

Wow, Wal-Mart ends relationship with Dean, that is the pot calling the kettle black. Wal-Mart exploits millions of people in third world countries, has caused millions of Americans to lose their jobs because most of their merchandise is from foreign countries putting Americans out of work, they don't pay or give their employees decent wages or benefits, and they are upset about Dean saying something 30 years ago. GIVE US A BREAK!

June 27 2013 at 12:27 PM Report abuse +10 rate up rate down Reply
Susan

Even Walmart, home of the obese who make bad decisions, doesn't want to be associated with her. Now THAT'S bad.

June 27 2013 at 12:24 PM Report abuse -3 rate up rate down Reply
Herb

Let he that has never ever said a racist word throw the first stone!!!!!! I doubt there will be any strone throwers around.

June 27 2013 at 12:17 PM Report abuse +5 rate up rate down Reply
tmusch12

All you people need to get a grip, the blacks call each other the {N} word all the time, is that different. People need to calm down. So she said the {N} word big deal. It's okay when the blacks call the whites cracker that's okay. Paula Deen you don't need this half ass company's especially that worthless Walmart, talk about treating people like **** they are number one in that.
So people chill out and get a grip:::::::::::::::::::::

June 27 2013 at 12:14 PM Report abuse +3 rate up rate down Reply
utgeorge971

To hell with the naysayers, butter IS better and Paula is still my *****. Ask Snoop Lion he will tell you, praise Jah. One love one heart.

June 27 2013 at 12:12 PM Report abuse +2 rate up rate down Reply