LOS ANGELES, July 12 (UPI) -- Bluewater Productions says it plans to publish its Paula Deen comic book as scheduled this fall despite the Georgia-born celebrity chef's recent racism scandal.
"We do not condone her use of racial insensitivities, and think that intolerance has no place in a just society," Bluewater President Darren Davis said in a statement to NPR Friday. "But despite her recent failings, we also strongly believe she still has a powerful story to tell; one that fits the female empowerment model of our books."
Bluewater's "Female Force" series features prominent women such as former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayor, first lady Michelle Obama, author J.K. Rowling and actress Angelina Jolie.
Deen, 66, admitted in a May deposition for a lawsuit she had used the N-word in the past. That comment, and her description of a so-called plantation-style wedding she would like to see, sparked a media firestorm and prompted the Food Network to fire her.
Deen later insisted she is not a racist and said she only used the N-word to describe the black man who stuck a gun in her face while robbing the bank where she worked in 1987.
J.C. Penney, Walgreens, Sears and Kmart subsequently said they are moving away from their business relationship with Deen and the cable shopping channel QVC said it would "take a pause" in its dealings with her.
Smithfield Foods, Walmart, Home Depot and casino giant Caesar's Entertainment previously said they would end their partnerships with Deen.