For a brief moment, things were not all bad for Paula Deen. On Thursday, pre-orders of her upcoming cookbook, Paula Deen’s New Testament: 250 Favorite Recipes, All Lightened Up, soared to number one on Amazon.com’s best seller ranking. But what a difference a few days make.
Since then, Sears, J. C. Penney, and Kmart are now added to the list of companies that will no longer sell Paula Deen branded items. Random House, which had a five-book deal with the celebrity chef, has canceled their contract with her on Friday. One of the books that will not be published was scheduled to be released in October under the Ballantine Books imprint, Paula Deen’s New Testament: 250 Favorite Recipes, All Lightened Up. Random House claims it was a business decision. Since stores like Walmart and Target are no longer stocking her products, including cookbooks, then it would be difficult to follow through with publishing.
Paula Deen’s first cookbook, The Lady and Sons Savannah Country Cookbook, was published in 1998. She already has 14 published cookbooks to her credit which have sold a combined total of over eight million copies. Her supporters are confident her newest book will be published, just not by Random House.
Former United States President Jimmy Carter came to Ms. Deen’s defense. He advised her to “let the dust settle” and “make apologies.” He told her to focus on the good she has done, the programs she has in Savannah that benefit those who are “almost exclusively repressed and impoverished.”
QVC, the home shopping network, is also phasing out Paula Deen products. A letter signed by CEO Mike George was posted on the network’s website. It suggests that this will not be a permanent separation. “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.”
Written by: Cynthia Collins