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- American cook, cooking show host, restaurateur, author, actress, and television personality
There's no such thing as bad publicity. Or is there?
As the fallout from Paula Deen's admitted use of a racial slur continues, it would seem as if it's nearly impossible for the 66-year-old chef to make a comeback in the eyes of the public despite her tearful pleas for forgiveness. After all, endorsement deals are dropping daily, many fans have fled, and it would appear as if her empire is crumbling … but looks can be deceiving.
In reality, there are a few ways that Deen is actually managing to make more money off of this scandal.
Let's break down her wins and losses as they stand today:
Win: Sales of Deen's not-yet-published book, "Paula Deen's New Testament: 250 Favorite Recipes, All Lightened Up" skyrocketed to No. 1 on Amazon this week.
Loss: The book won't ever see the light of day. On Friday, Ballantine Books announced it had canceled its multi-book deal with Dean, and won't be publishing "New Testament," which was due out in October.
Win: Fans have started a Facebook campaign called "We Support Paula Deen," which already has 482,000 likes and counting. We can all agree it was totally started by Paula, right?
Loss: Target announced on Thursday they will be parting ways with Deen. "We have made a decision to phase out the Paula Deen merchandise in our stores as well as on Target.com," a spokesperson for the company said in a statement. "Once the merchandise is sold out, we will not be replenishing inventory."
Win/Loss: After revealing she had type 2 diabetes, Deen signed on as a spokesperson for the drug Victoza in early 2012. However, the drug company Norvo Nordisk has suspended their partnership. "Novo Nordisk and Paula Deen have mutually agreed to suspend our patient education activities for now, while she takes time to focus her attention where it is needed," the pharmaceutical company said in a statement. If Norvo Nordisk decides to stand behind Deen, this would obviously be a win. If not? Well, you know where we're going with this.
Win: People aren't entirely abandoning ship when it comes to Deen. The celeb chef's annual Paula Deen Cruise aboard the Mariner of the Seas has added an extra departure in 2014 due to high demand.
Loss: Walmart has cut ties with Deen, too. "We will not place new orders beyond those already committed," said Dave Tovar, a Walmart spokesman. "We will work with suppliers to address existing inventories and agreements." Deen's products, including food items, cookware, health and wellness products, have been available at all 4,000 of Walmart's U.S. stores.
Win: Paula has some famous names coming to her defense, including Howard Stern. "I mean...are we really gonna say that if someone takes the stand and admits to using the n-word … and is being honest … I'm just wondering … Why is she losing her job?" the shock jock asked on his radio show. But perhaps the most unlikely and influential person Deen has in her corner is Reverend Al Sharpton. "A lot of us have, in the past, said things we have regretted saying years ago," he noted. "I think she has a lawsuit now about activities now whether it was discriminatory. And whether or not she's engaged in things now. It's not about her past ... She deserves what's fair, but that's based on what she's engaged in now."
Loss: Home Depot announced this week that it would stop carrying Paula Deen branded items.
Win: Deen's restaurant business seems to be booming. Over the weekend, her restaurant The Lady and Sons in Savanna, Georgia had people lining up out the door.
Win: People want to hear Paula Deen out. Matt Lauer’s exclusive interview with Paula Deen on Wednesday on the "Today" show beat GMA in both total viewers and the key demo A25-54, according to Nielsen preliminary numbers .
Loss: Perhaps the biggest blow to Deen is that she was dropped by the Food Network. Deen's cooking show is how Paula got famous in the first place. "Food Network will not renew Paula Deen's contract when it expires at the end of this month," the network said in a statement. Deen has been with the network for more than a decade.
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