Update, 4:36 p.m. Eastern: The Food Network has decided not to renew Paula Deen's contract, which expires in nine days.
Statement from Food Network spokesman: “Food Network will not renew Paula Deen's contract when it expires at the end of this month.”— Hunter Walker (@hunterw) June 21, 2013
When Deen's deposition and usage of the n-word leaked earlier this week, The Food Network had told journalists that they were "continu[ing] to monitor the situation." It's been a weird Friday.
Original: After a leaked deposition told the world the story of Paula Deen and the "really Southern plantation wedding" with black slaves, and even after her lawyers defended her use of the n-word, the Food Network star is very much on the defensive — and her last-minute cancellation of a Today show tell-all on Friday isn't helping. (Update: She said she was sorry in a video, below. Update 2: There is another video. It's pretty weird, too.)
In the middle of Today's 7 a.m. hour, Matt Lauer made the announcement that Deen had scheduled an exclusive live interview with Today — and that she simply did not show up. "We spoke several times with her people yesterday, and I spoke with Paula yesterday afternoon," Lauer said. "We arranged an interview this morning. We agreed there would be no restrictions." The host insisted that Deen's excuse was that the chef was in New York City but was "exhausted," and that he had not heard from Deen since their last conversation. Here's the clip: