Readers and viewers have already formed their opinions about the recent Paula Deen N-word scandal, but now, the mistress of southern home cooking is ready to do some damage control. She may perhaps be a little late to the game, but on Monday morning, NBC’s Today host Matt Lauer made the announcement, stating she will appear during Wednesday’s episode. The host also dryly noted, "She has told us she will be here this time.”
The barb is a crack at Deen and her PR team, who have been making a lot of incorrect moves on the chessboard ever since a deposition from a lawsuit was made available to the public. The deposition was particularly tarnishing, as it shows Deen asserting that she has used the N-word in the past, notably once when an African American male held a gun to her head during a bank robbery. The TV food personality also stated that any uses of the N-word were confined to the past, which has led a faction of loyal Cinema Blend commenters and other opinionated commenters on the Internet to either back Deen or condemn her.
Last Friday, Deen was actually supposed to head to Today to discuss her experiences growing up as a woman in the South 50+ years ago, as well as share her experiences regarding the deposition that was leaked. Lauer’s not always the warmest early morning host I’ve ever seen, and no doubt he would have asked some pretty tough questions. However, he didn’t even get the chance, because Deen backed out without telling her side of the story. She later shot out a heartfelt apology to the Today crew and her fans, but she still hasn’t really explained her interpretation of the events, yet.
According to THR, at the time of her backing out, her publicists named “exhaustion” as the reason she couldn’t appear for an interview. Deen’s a known agoraphobic, and the stress from her earlier dealings with people knocking on her for having diabetes coupled with the more recent racism drama may have indeed wiped out her ability to think clearly. Regardless, if there were a time to speak, it would have been last week, before The Food Network stopped monitoring its popular chef and instead opted to fire her, stating her tenure is over after her contract is finished at the end of the month.
On her Facebook, Deen cheerily noted that she will be a part of Today on Wednesday, thanking the early morning team for having her back on the show.
“See you Wednesday, I am so glad Matt, Al and my friends at The Today Show are bringing me back.”
Maybe Wednesday’s episode will do a lot to endear Deen to the populace once more, but she will absolutely have to choose her words carefully, especially since QVC is currently mulling over whether or not to keep the famous name on the network. Deen’s decision to speak out about her actions may end up being too little, too late, but too little, too late is still better than never.
Photo Credit@ Paula Deen