QVC just became the latest in a long line of companies to drop embattled celebrity chef Paula Deen.
Since the Food Network announced that it was ending its relationship with Deen, people have been questioning whether QVC would do the same. For the past week, Deen has been caught in a racism scandal that came to a head after the release of a court deposition in which she admitted to using the N-word.
QVC CEO Mike George announced the news on a company blog. He posted this statement:
We too are troubled by what Paula has acknowledged saying. We’re also troubled by the allegations against her. We deeply believe, as you do, that everyone deserves to be treated with dignity and respect.
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. 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.
Some of you may wonder whether this is a “forever” decision – whether we are simply ending our association with Paula. We don’t think that’s how relationships work. People deserve second chances. And we always strive to do the right thing.
Deen also addressed the scandal on the QVC blog with her own statement:
I want to let you know how much I value my relationship with all of you and with QVC. I’ve loved hearing from all of you over the years, with your calls and posts and letters. I’ve so enjoyed my close relationship with David Venable and his team, and my warm interactions with the extended QVC family. I also appreciate the caring way that QVC has interacted with me over the past week.
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.
Several other companies have been distancing themselves from Deen over the past week. The Food Network, Walmart, Smithfield Foods, Caesars Palace, Novo Nordisk, Target, and Home Depot have all announced that they’re either ending or suspending their relationships with Deen.
There are, however, still some companies showing support for Deen and continuing to do business with her.
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