Paula Deen Returns to Today Show: ‘My Words Hurt People’

09/23/2014 at 11:02 AM ET

Paula Deen
Courtesy Carlo Allegri/AP

During her Tuesday appearance on the Today show, Paula Deen was composed, collected and apologetic — a far cry from the same tearful woman who sat down with Matt Lauer in 2013 after the big Paula-Gate scandal blowout.

“Words are powerful,” she told Lauer. “They can hurt. They can make people happy. Well, my words hurt people,” Deen, 67, publicly admitted.

The celebrity cook, who is preparing for her comeback with a new subscription-based online channel The Paula Deen Network, hopes her audience will accept her apologies and move on with her.

“Frankly, I disappointed myself,” she said. “And for that, I’m so sorry, I’m so sorry for the hurt that I caused people because it went deep.”

In 2013, Paula Deen’s big fallout was the result of a lawsuit that claimed she used racial slurs in the kitchen on her Savannah, Georgia restaurant, Uncle Bubba’s Oyster House. She was dropped from the Food Network, and lost most of her corporate sponsors and book deals.

Along with prepping for a return to the televised kitchen, she’s currently making a documentary about the ordeal.

“I’ve learned so much over the year,” Deen says. “We are working on a documentary because I feel like everybody needs to know the whole entire story.”

—Gillian Telling

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Showing 56 comments

Tina on

Are we rehashing THIS again?

Dylanne on

Something still incredibly fake about her.

myopinion on

is she trying to remind us about herself?

Trish on

I loved Paula and I still do. She made a mistake and was punished harshly for it. It happened, it is done. She has apologized on numerous occasions….it is time to let it go and move on. Allow her to also do so.

carol on

everyone deserves a second chance , we all make mistakes in life we are all humans, we all say things without thinking and not with the intension’s to hurt anyone ..
you have apologize to many times, move on and enjoy life.
continue doing what you love and that’s cooking.

Guest on

Lets see the 49ers QB was just fined for saying this word but yet we tore up Paula for something she said years ago??? Sick and tired of the double standard. Sorry Natalie Morales (Today Show) but you sounded like an idiot. Do you want Paula’s blood?????? Good luck Paula!!!! You never offended this black soul sista (yes my daughter met Train at her radio station)!!!! hahaha

Valerie on

I’m getting really tired of hearing about her. She made a mistake. She ran her mouth. She got caught and had to back pedal. I watched this interview and the woman is not very bright, at all. Heaven forbid she lose her empire and not be a multi millionaire anymore.

Ajah on

OMG…What hole does this SLOTH keeping coming out of???? Go. Away.

Sue on

It amazes me how easy it is for you guys to be so forgiving of Paula Dean and i forgave her also, but you guys pick and choose who you want to forgive and forget. When a athlete or a celebrity makes an mistake he or she has to pay for it for the rest of his life and his or her career is effected. It’s time we get off our high horse and quit thinking we are so perfect but you can condem someone else Michael Vick did something wrong and even went to prison and you guys are still holding it against him. But i guess you do get to pick and choose you you want to forgive and forget .

templar on

Ok, now GO AWAY!

ssj455 on

What BS!! If she were a liberal no one would care.

LETSBEFAIR on

Why don’t you have the rapper on your show to apologize for his lyrics “Kill Whitey” I am not a fan of rap but I am sure you can research his name.

Ronni on

It’s ok Paula! You are not the only one who has hurt people with their words. You are only stepping up to the plate and taking responsibility for it, unlike the others who have disappointed us!! xoxoxo

LETSBEFAIR on

You should have that rapper on your show to apologize for his lyrics “Kill Whitey”

IMO on

I think it takes a big person to say I am sorry, I don’t believe she realized that her comments were inappropriate and insensitive, I mean but compared to what I read on these comments Paula is a saint. I truly believe she is sorry for her comments and if she isn’t then she won’t be the first or last person.

angie on

It may have shirt her bank account but I did t see anyone crying over it. She is from the south arnt most southerners still a little racist???

Pam T. on

@SSJ455 She’s a democrat btw…

Jennifer on

I love Paula Deen!!! Looks as if she is over the trauma and going strong again! That is one thing about that southern woman…..nothing is gonna keep her down!!!

ALM on

She disappointed herself? More like she disappointed her bank account…

Kathy on

Apologizing because she’s back on the air. Won’t be tuning in. I had pretty much figured out who and what she was before the controversy. She’s done nothing to sway my opinion of her. She can make her bucks off someone else. She won’t be a cent off me!

Erin on

Paula Deen has always been unfiltered -never apologized for anything. Apparently she just thought she was cute and could giggle her way out of anything she said or did. The only thing she’s concerned about hurting was her bank account. Why be on tv. Why the publicity? If she’s not concerned about money, why not just have a web page and post her recipes for nothing. No thanks.

Anonymous on

Paula made a mistake but the press butchered her over it. Kinda like Martha Stewart. Let the woman move on.

yahoo on

Has turkey neck not died already?

Andrea on

She needs to crawl back under the butter covered rock she came from.

charlotte on

“Frankly, I disappointed myself,” she said. “And for that, I’m so sorry”. So she is sorry that she disappointed HERSELF! Wouldn’t pay a dime to subscribe to her online channel and wouldn’t subscribe if it were free. She lost a fan in me!

tcvajv on

It’s time to stop apologizing and move on, Paula. So many others have used “that” word and they move on from it. It is bad that you were somehow used as an example and your whole world was torn inside out. Funny that didn’t happen to those other’s that “made a mistake.” Move on with your life, Paula, and enjoy it.

Mellissa Redman on

I wonder if she would have been nearly as apologetic if she hadn’t lost so much in the fall out after her verbal gaffs went public. It’s one thing to mess up and lose fans, it’s another to mess up and lose endorsements too. Her entire career has been derailed possibly to the point of no return. Everyone keeps saying “oh this was in the past” as if that doesn’t mean anything today. The past shapes and molds what we have now, and we uncovered a part of this woman that was very unsatisfactory. It’s also worth noting that it wasn’t JUST a few words, there were actions that went along with those words that were VERY questionable. I don’t wish her ill will, but she’s reaping what she sowed.

burra on

she is very fake

Terry on

No need to apologize Paula. You were honest during a deposition, something that a lot of people are not.

Southern by Birth on

Much ado about nothing! People are SO thin-skinned and have no guts. Always looking to place blame and wear their feelings on their sleeve. Get over it already! Her remarks were kind compared to a lot of things I’ve heard other races say about white people.

suebid on

people acted like she was the only one that ever did this. Paula got screwed over royally for something that millions of people have said, well known and not well known. I support Paula Dean all the way

Just Saying on

Those words cost her everything she had.. her restaurant, her cooking show, and stores won’t sell her merchandise. Those same words used by rappers or hip hop artists, whatever they’re called, sell millions of albums making them millions of dollars. Also, they win music awards and sell out concert tickets. Let’s not forget those same stores that dropped her still sell that music with those same words.

Stephanie North on

This woman has paid a HUGE price for her HONESTY, about what she said. On Sunday September 21, 2014, there was a San Francisco 49’ers Quaterback in the NFL who used the same word. He said it out of anger over a GAME. Nothing has happened to him. Paula Deen was crucified for a word she used 30 years ago.. where is the equality there? No one should use those words, ever, but did the punishment fit the crime in BOTH of these cases? Hardly. The punk from the 49’ers actions equal those of Ms. Deen?? NOT EVEN CLOSE!

NADIA NYC on

WHY IS SHE STILL TALKING??????? SHUT UP!

Christina on

This woman needs to just go away already. This “scandal” isn’t even the main reason I don’t like her. It’s the fact that she pedals food that is so bad for you and then she hides the fact that she has developed diabetes until she has an endorsement deal with the drug companies for diabetes meds! Hey ya’ll I’ll have a new cookbook for you all about what I really have to eat now, what a joke she is!

Sandra on

This black southern woman has never had a problem with Paula, what I had and still have a problem with is people being demolished for words said in the heat of the moment 30 plus years ago. The woman that bought this lawsuit was being vindictive and in the end she got just what she deserved….Nothing. Every company that jumped ship, while I see the point of protecting the brand, can suck eggs, those ho’s weren’t loyal but I guarantee you like any good ho they will be looking to suckle from the teet of success if and when Paula’s stock starts to rise again.

tracys38 on

Can’t this woman jut go away?

gina on

Her WORD didn’t “hurt anybody” because that word is said millions of times a day. The NAACP just got lucky.

krysti on

She’s obviously desperate for everyone to “love” her again. She apologized already, so lets move on! Looks like she’s wanting everyone’s approval. I would have more respect for her if she had never brought it up again.

Allie on

Paula is LOVED BY MILLIONS OF PEOPLE AND WE ARE THRILLED SHE IS BACK! YOU GO GIRL, AND DON’T CHANGE A THING ABOUT YOU?

dani on

Come back bigger and better than ever, Paula. WE HAVE MISSED YOU!!!

Beth on

And…how much will you be selling the documentary for, Paula? Money monger…

Jessica on

One question- are blacks allowed to work in the front of the house now, Paula?

SHERRI on

i have one word to describe this interview….FAKE

Lesli on

Love her !!!! Everyone makes mistakes….You go girl !!!!!!!

slawson on

Um, yeah right! What come from the heart comes forth out of ones mouth. Please go away!!!

Sharon on

I like Paula, but this is just damage control. She knows she has to build herself back up, I read that she made 60 million a year, with all of her endorsements, and she lost that money when they dropped her, so I am sure she if fighting to get that back as anyone would, I wish her the best.

Jeanie Beanie on

Happy to hear you are back on top!

Anonymous on

She looks like a racists… An old southern racists!!!

Phil on

A pathetic ad transparent attempt to salvage her name and show. However, it will not work. EPIC FAIL.

A vile, dishonest and hypocritical racist

Suzybel on

I think this was blown way out of proportion, people have said worse and have not been called on it. It was a long time ago, so let’s move on.

Lovely C on

I will never support a racist. She will always be a racist she said what she wanted to say. She never would have felt bad using the N words, it’s only because she was caught.

Mom on

Cast the first stone.

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