Walmart And Caesars Scrap Paula Deen Deals After ‘Today’ Appearance

Source:  David Lieberman /

 Walmart now has dropped out, potentially costing Paula Deen revenues from a product line that includes eyeglasses, cookware, and baked goods. The retail giant says that it is “ending our relationship with Paula Deen Enterprises and we will not place new orders beyond those already committed.” Meanwhile the celebrity chef has received statements of support from Epicurean Butter, IQ Craft, Club Marketing Services, Harvest NA, Landies Candies, and Sandridge Food, Bloomberg BusinessWeek reports. The statement from Tasty Blend Foods praised Deen’s “commitment and how she stepped up and apologized to her viewers, fans and the nation. We personally endorse Paula Deen and what she stands for. We are very saddened that she is being judged by her past, everyone has made a mistake sometime in their lives.”

Add Caesars Entertainment to the list of companies that have severed ties to Paula Deen Inc. The company says today that it “has reached a mutual agreement with Paula Deen Enterprises” not to renew their deal to operate four Paula Deen-themed buffets. Caesars says it will rebrand the existing ones at Louisville’s Horseshoe Southern Indiana, Memphis’ Harrah’s Tunica, Chicago’s Harrah’s Joliet, and North Carolina’s Harrah’s Cherokee. “While we appreciate Paula’s sincere apologies for statements she made in her past that she recently disclosed during a deposition given in response to a lawsuit, after thoughtful consideration of their impact, we have mutually decided that it is in the best interests of both parties to part ways at this time,” says EVP Communications and Government Affairs Jan Jones Blackhurst.

QVC now says that it is “reviewing our business relationship” with Paula Deen and has “no immediate plans to have her appear” on the shopping network. QVC adds that it “does not tolerate discriminatory behavior.” It increasingly looks that, if the celebrity chef wants to save her multimillion-dollar licensing and endorsement empire, she needs to do it on NBC’s Today show this Wednesday. Deen generated about $9.9M in 2010 from speaking engagements, licensing agreements, TV, magazines, books and other deals, according to estimates. But Paula Deen Inc could collapse after the Food Network’s decision last week to not renew her contract when it expires this month. Smithfield Foods, the world’s biggest pork producer, terminated its contrac with Deen today. Meanwhile, Universal Furniture, which offers the Paula Deen Home furniture line, told its dealers today that it will see how things play out before it decides what to do.

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