Celebrity chef Paula Deen apparently bailed on NBC’s “Today” show this morning. Deen was booked to appear in response to a lawsuit filed against her.
The deposition from that lawsuit leaked online, and indicated that Deen used the “N word” when referring to some African Americans, that her brother and business partner harassed staff and played pornography in the restaurants, and that she allegedly wanted to hold a party where the servers were all African Americans dressed as 19th-century slaves.
Deen is a “Today” regular (she even revealed her diabetes diagnosis on the program), and was booked yesterday for an appearance. She flew from Georgia to New York, but this morning, according to Matt Lauer, she was a “no-show.”
“We spoke several times with her people yesterday, and then I spoke with Paula yesterday afternoon,” said Lauer. “We arranged an interview this morning, we agreed there would be no restrictions to that interview, only that it would be an open and candid exchange.”
“She’s been on the show so many times,” Al Roker said after Lauer brought up the issue. “We consider her a friend, and we hope that she’ll reconsider, but she really needs to address this.”