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Walmart drops Paula Deen: Brands race to sever ties with TV cook

By KATE STANTON, UPI.com   |   June 27, 2013 at 6:45 PM   |   Comments

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June 27 (UPI) -- Paula Deen's tearful "Today" show appearance did little to lesson the controversy surrounding revelations that she once used the n-word and wanted to hire black men to serve at a wedding dressed as slaves.

Walmart is the latest brand to cut ties with the 66-year-old celebrity cook, following in the footsteps of Caesars Entertainment, Smithfield Foods, Target and the Food Network.

"We are ending our relationship with Paula Deen Enterprises and we will not place new orders beyond those already committed," America's largest retail chain said in a statement on Wednesday. "We will work with suppliers to address existing inventories and agreements."

Deen, who recently hired PR crisis manager and "Scandal" inspiration Judy Smith, tearfully apologized to "Today" show viewers Wednesday morning.

“If there’s anyone out there that has never said something they wish they could take back, please pick up that stone and throw it so hard at my head that it kills me. Please," she said.

Meanwhile, Deen's supporters have taken to Walmart's Facebook page -- and the Facebook pages of other companies that have fired her -- to express their outrage.

"I live in a rural area, but I am willing to drive the hour or hour and half to shop Target, and other stores. I will go to the local grocery stores. Shame on you WalMart!" one angry commenter wrote.

© 2013 United Press International, Inc. All Rights Reserved. Any reproduction, republication, redistribution and/or modification of any UPI content is expressly prohibited without UPI's prior written consent.
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