How’s Paula Deen Doing Today … And How’s the Food Network?

53 Comments | Written on October 11, 2013 at 1:00 pm, by

paula deenPaula Deen has been spending more time with her family, including her grandchildren, and has gotten back to the day-to-day operations of her business, according to her son Jamie Deen in a recent interview with HLN.


The former Food Network star with a veritable empire of product licensing deals was booted off her longtime network last summer and lost millions in endorsements after a lawsuit filed by an employee alleged racial and sexual discrimination in the workplace and Deen admitted to using racial slurs. The suit was settled at the end of August, but the damage to Deen’s career had already been done.


The experience has brought the Deen family closer, according to Jamie, though the wounds appear to remain fresh: “Being in the service business, I realized that you’re not going to make everyone happy,” Jamie tells HLN. “You take criticism for what it is. If it’s constructive, you use it to better your business. But this summer, it was a personal attack on my mom that was so unwarranted. My mother is just the sweetest woman, and no one has ever given her a thing — she’s worked so hard, [whether with] nonprofits, helping feed millions of people or to inspire people in business and their everyday life. This summer was tough for us, and it hurt her feelings, which got me the most.”


Jamie goes on to say that Paula is “in good spirits,” adding later: “When you find yourself in a tough spot, that’s when you find out who your friends are.”


Of course, few parties could be on more unfriendly terms than Deen and the Food Network. In response to the channel’s summary dismissal of Deen, many loyal fans of the Southern cook vowed to boycott the network, essentially putting a hex on the house that, in many ways, Deen herself had built.


So has that hex worked?


As Bloomberg Businessweek reports, ratings at the Food Network have indeed slumped since Deen was canned. Network execs decided to cut Deen loose on June 21; according to Nielsen data covering the period from June 24 though October 6, the Food Network’s audience shrunk six percent during prime time and three percent during the day.


But is that attributable to the absence of Deen? Some industry watchers are doubtful, pointing out that the Food Network’s ratings were already sliding before Deen left — and in particular, the audience for Deen’s shows had been in serious decline before the brouhaha over the lawsuit, seeing a 25 percent drop between 2012 and 2013.


It’s interesting that in the comments section for the Businessweek report, most TV watchers appear to attribute any troubles at the Food Network less to the loss of Deen than to what they see as the channels over-reliance on “reality” competition shows. As one commenter writes: “Food Network’s problem is that it has veered away from the basic concept: teaching people how to cook. The majority of shows now are reality shows. Boring.”



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53 Responses to “How’s Paula Deen Doing Today … And How’s the Food Network?”

  • Jazzmatazz says:

    I was unhappy about how the network was changing to include a lot of reality shows. What happened to Paula was the last straw. I will not watch it until they publicly apologize to her, and ask her to come back.

  • Brenda says:

    I used to love watching Ina, Nigella, Paula, Racheal Ray, and Giada. I was in a car accident and learned so much from these women. Besides learning to cook they were entertaining. The only only that I got tired or watching was Giada. For some reason after a while she started driving me crazy. When the FN fired Paula for a statement that was said 30 years pior, in a personal conversation, I lost a lot of respect for the network. In times like this is when exes should weigh their policies, principles and what their network as a whole represents. Clearly, a statement stated in apersonal conversation 30 years ago does not atomatically makes someone a racists. Paula Deen was with the network for how long 10-20 years and no where in this time FN found Paula Dean’s character to protray any sort of misconduct. Besides the over use of butter. This to me shows that FN has no value system. I wish Paula all the luck in the world. FN does not deserve peps like her. Needless to say I do not watch FN very often anymore.

  • Cathy says:

    There is more things to worry about in this world then a few commits made by a hard working woman who was a single mom and did what she had to do tto bring up her kids.I often dont watch the food network any more . The sponsers should be assamed for taking a womans liveliness away from her because I have heard worst commits made then she made and nothing was done about it.

  • Jade says:

    Two points: The world, especially the Deep South, was a very different place when Paula used a derogatory term. I watched FN to learn about cooking and food, not to model the ethics of any Tv personality. Paula got a raw deal.

  • fran says:

    I will never watch food network again! It is very boring and the “chefs” are very arrogant….

  • Marge says:

    I was absolutely devasistated when Paula Deen was taken off Food Network! Not only that, but it seems all the department chain stores also dropped from selling her products! Over a single accusation?!!! There have been many in the past that have done worse and are still on TV and haven’t been “blackballed”!! I thought it extremely unfair and utterly atrocious that this could happen to her. I have met her on one of her stops signing books and she seems like a most likeable person! I enjoyed watching her show and have used her receipes a lot. I absolutely love her pots and pans and had to order them online! I just can’t believe how things have disintegrated in this day and age!! I wonder what next?

  • Beth Shook says:

    I agree with the folks who think Food Network make a huge mistake letting Paula Deen go when they did. She was one of the best shows on the network. I also agree that all these competition shows are boring, and the network should go back to what, and who got them to where they are. I too wrote to Food Network about Paula’s dismissal and did not receive and reply. Wish Paula would sign with another network and get going again, we miss her.

  • sandy a. says:

    I have not watched the food network since Paula left, you have lost a great person to your show , she is such a inspiration to all . We all say things we regret but that doesn’t mean she’s a bad person, if that was the case we all would be quilty. Paula I will always support you , I love your spices and I love getting my Cooking with Paula magazines I save every one of them. May God Bless you and your family, from my home to yours Happy New Years.

    • m welcher says:

      Most TV shows are boring, filled with c ursing and sex. Much worse than what Paula said 30 years ago. Food Net Work made a big mistake in letting Paula go. I hope she will continue to make a come back and TV needs to clean up their shows that are more hurtful to our youth than Paula Deen.

  • Barbara says:

    My husband was from the old south. He used the “N” word all the time with both his white friends and his black friends. Nobody thought anything of it. What’s the matter with people today?

  • Brenda says:

    I stopped watching & purchasing anything Food Network related. The fact that Paula Deen was fired for a comment 30 some years ago Is unfathomable to me. I miss many of my favorite network family shows. I even sent letter to Food Network regarding this with no comment from them. So much for customers satisfaction? They could care Less. As for Paula, I’d like to see her on Living Well.

  • Gailann says:

    Thank heavens she’s back. Paula is the best!

  • Phyllis says:

    Paula Deen made her own trouble….now lets get to teaching cooking and forget about all the reality shows. It gets boring to watch all stupid shows!!! I think tha’s why people are not watching food network…get it back to where it was when you started Food Network!!

  • Kathy says:

    I haven’t watched maybe 1 hr. all together since she left, but I have copied a lot of her recies that are still around, so I get to make what she did, maybe less of things, don’t want to get sick.
    I think what they and all the people that were making money off of her did, just because she told the truth on the stand, she could have lied and still be doing every thing she was doing, BUT she told the truth–I think many people say things tht they don’t mean and aren’t saying it to anyones face,but if asked they’d say I never said that word!!

  • Julie says:

    I haven’t watched Food Network since they booted Paula Deen, and I have done my best to avoid products that I recall as having advertised on Food Network. I

  • Grace Mangano Vaglica says:

    I started watching food network when it first came on the air, and with every year I was loving it. I love Paula and even though I have never met her, her warm heart and big personality makes me feel like I’ve known her for years when I use to watch her. It is sad that people like to judge people every chance they get, but they don’t want to be judged when they make a mistake. I don,’t think God retired and left mankind in charge to judge. I love and miss Paula and I wish her the very best. The FN needs to reconsider their decision and bring Paula back.

  • jack63 says:

    Three cheers to Paula, thumbs down to the “reality shows” of food network and all reality shows for that matter.

  • linda says:

    They really need to get back to the old shows. Love Guy but reality shows don’t teach. Love my Southern cooks. Well I love my internet anyways. Food Net Work please change.

  • Marynelle Vickers says:

    I stopped watching FN when they did what they did to Paula Deen. I love Tricia Yearwood but because of what the network did, I don’t even watch her show anymore.

  • Drew says:

    Love guy, who couldn’t? But, as far as the FN… SUCKS!! YOU LOST YOUR WAY with “the price is right” game show format!!! Not a big fan of Paula’s but at least she was a teacher and that can’t be said of the participants on the “FOOL” network.

  • Now with Paula gone I can finally watch food network again!!

  • sharynn says:

    since Paula Dean left the network I hardly watch the food channel anymore. I remember when the the food channel went on air, i watched the very first show. I was a true watcher for the 20 years. I turn it on now once in awhile when i am flipping the channels. If Paul comes back so will I

  • Jeanne Vashaw says:

    Please leave Paula Dean alone it was in the past let it go she is alright lady

  • Rachel says:

    Food network is no longer fun to watch,there are more reality shows,to few cooks teaching and cooking.Paula was a great inspiration to many of us,She was down to earth like most of us,.now I watch more create cooking,its fun and lots of learning from there.get away from reality and get back to basics thanks

  • Norma Revels says:

    I love you Paula. You hang in there girl. The rest of you food network chefs watch your back.. You see the loyalty Paula got from these yahoos. You will get the same. Who on this planet hasn’t said something similar? No one .!!!!! Even the people who condemed Paula……

  • Millie says:

    I was so disappointed when the FN let Paula go. I used to watch several of that network’s show’s, now I might watch a couple of episodes a week.

  • JJ says:

    I seldom watch FN any more. Not interested in the competition programs. I record Pioneer Woman to watch when I have time. Even cancelled my subscription to their magazine. Really did enjoy Paula’s shows…too bad.

  • J says:

    The food network’s not as interesting without Paula. Trisha Yearwood is so phony, talking about Garth’s favorite foods all the time. She’s not have the cook Paula is….
    They have way to many shows with competition,and should lose viewers with all the new uninteresting people on now.

  • melissa says:

    I no longer watch food network due to it’s bad treatment of Paula Dean

  • Marlis Wilson says:

    Please bring Paula Deen back!

  • Janet Greenhow says:

    Paula, herslef, drove me crazy with her constant cigarette laugh, but I liked her cooking.
    I am a fan of Bobby Flay, Ina Garten, Giata, $10 dinners and the Pioneer woman…did I forget anyone? Miss Bobby’s throwdowns.
    Oh, Rachel. She’s great. Can’t forget her.
    Now, on the long, stringy hair on cooking shows is a turn off. Miss Ina’s. I’m at work when she is on. When you show her old shows (encores) in her home kitchen, I feel like a friend invited in. What’s RT doing now?
    And finally, I have more diamonds that Paula and I sure don’t wear them while I’m cooking.
    Too much Guy …he’s obnoxiuos and on all the time. So, those are the reasons I do or don’t watch your station.

  • Sandy says:

    I’m not a big Paula fan so I don’t care that she’s gone. In my opinion, she’s a phony. We stopped by her restaurant while in Savannah a few years ago and definitely got the impression from her staff that she’s a big put-on. I’m getting a little sick of Giada too although I think she’s a decent cook. They just put her on too much. Really sick of Guy F. He’s just obnoxious. I’m with a lot of the others. Just bring us good cooking shows like Pioneer Woman. That’s what we expect to see when we turn on the FN. The competitions are a big turn-off. And the FN’s app is really bad. I can’t even access my saved recipes. I expect more from them. And too many misprints in their recipes. The show says one thing but the recipe says another. They should be more professional. There’s plenty of reasons to not watch FN that much anymore. But Paula Deen’s absence isn’t one of them.

    • Connie P says:

      Amen, Sandy! I also am sick of Giada and Guy and haven’t been a fan of Paula for a LONG time. I live in the South and she is definitely NOT a typical southern cook (no chef here!) – way too much southern drawl. Still watch FN on occasion but would like to see more entertaining cooking shows like some of those Cajun folks used to be.

    • susan buys says:

      sound like you need your show

  • Joan Williams says:

    I quit watching the Food Channel whe they “tossed” Paula Deen off! What a disapointment -Their “leaders” certainly don,t understand their audiences wants!! I miss watching that channel but I just slide right over it when I am watching TV–what a shame !!

  • Kate says:

    What a bunch of politically correct dummies you “execs” at Food Network are. Paula’s shows were fun, her food was fun & her laughter, contagious. She seemed to be the typical Southern sweet lady that I could only dream of knowing personally. You food network people are just stupid. I don’t have any kind words for you. One person claimed racial slurs & you listened to that one person who was only after money — bottom line. Why couldn’t you see that? I rarely watch F.N. any more.

  • Kate says:

    I love cooking competitions, and I do learn to cook better from them. However, I also love Paula Deen and have watched less of the Food Network since her unfair dismissal. I think enough time has passed for a truce and attempt to gracefully bringher back. I think she has spent enough time facing the corner.

  • Jacqueline says:


  • Linda says:

    I like Paula she is down home , fun and has good food to make you can do what she cooks and not spend so much. Food Network has to much junk on it go back to real cooking and let us learn from them not stuff we do not care about, and darn you tell Paula you are sorry see if you are big enough to do that I will be watching for that.

  • Cindy M says:

    I miss Paula, I think it was Sooo unfair of the FN to do what they did to her. I don’t like all these new shows get back to cooking,too many Drive in Dinners, too many restaurant impossable one or two of those a day is enough. I loved chopped but they over do that too.

  • Julia says:

    I stopped watching her when she came forward that she has diabetes and still was pushing high carb foods on her show. That seemed disingenuous to me.

  • Joann says:

    I think Paula needs to say the H_ _ _ with Food Network and start her own show. I Love Paula and miss her soooooo much!!!! Before I die I want to go and meet that Beautiful Woman!!!!

  • Mary Grace Krejci says:

    My Beef with Paula Deen but with The Neely’s.
    It is crazy that the network keeps them on. I will not watch them. They should have a motel commercial instead of a cooking show. I love
    Big Daddy and never fail to watch him. Come on Food Channel, get rid of the Neely’s.

  • Rhonda Hammond says:

    I am glad to know that I am not the only one that is out on the barrage of competition shows. I really miss the teaching shows that the network was founded around. Get rid of those and I will return. Add Paula back and I will be a totally loyal to the network, sponsors, magazine and products. Until then, shame on you for caving in.

  • KayGee says:

    I like a couple of shows on the FN. I am a Chopped fanatic. I love to watch, the “Next Iron Chef” competition. I also watch “Cutthroat Kitchen,” which is my least favorite show.

    I’ll occasionally watch some of the other shows, but I find the other program boring and repetitive. I probably won’t tune in to Cutthroat Kitchen after this inaugural season because it is plan old STOOPID!!!

    Back to the topic of Paula, when I first started watching the FN, Saturday mornings were spent in the bed watching from 6:00 – 9:00 a.m. (some Saturdays, not all), and I liked Paula quit a bit, I liked her recipes, her show as less interesting when she started having her son(s) on too much. Anyway, I quit watching the Saturday morning line up many years ago. My least favorite during that time was Giada, she was soooooooo boring to me.

    The end.

  • Linda says:

    Food Network has changed in so many ways and not all for the best, it seems like Guy Fieri is everywhere, he is okay but can get annoying sometimes, I miss Paula Deen, there is to many reality shows now.

  • ritab says:

    Having been married for over 50 years, I’ve watched all the cooking shows and get all the recipes I ever want, so I find the competitions refreshing, especially the ones with the up-and-coming little chefs.

  • Jan Schleier says:

    I still watch the Food Network. I just boycott their sponsors.

  • Donna says:

    Agreeing with Michael – Food Network sucks! The evening programming went to H in a Handbasket quite some time ago. Get off the competition crap and get back to the stand & stir shows! I quit watching long ago and don’t miss it a bit!

  • Jean says:

    Yes, I agree the majority of the newer shows on the network are plain boring and so many unrelated to cooking a meal. Am finding other networks to watch when these “reality” shows come on. Do not feel comfortable with the network’s mgmt. since they publicly fired Paula in such a crude and evil way. That was uncalled for indeed. Basically, I watch Ina, Giada, 10$ dinners, Restaurant Impossible, Pioneer Woman, Rachel Ray. Will watch the new food network star’s show and Irvine’s restaurant divided. Heatland Table not as good as I thought it would be. The rest are uninteresting. Too much diners, drive ins and dives and flay and good eats guy and unwrapped. You should bring Paula back in some way. She did a lot for the network and I hope you are ashamed of what you dd to her.

  • Happy says:

    I and my family do not watch Food Network–It’s no fun with out Paula.

  • slickzip says:

    Paula is the all American woman and the food network sucks

  • Michael says:

    Food Network is treating their viewers like idiots. Evening programming is ridiculous with Chopped, Japanese imports, donuts, cupcakes and other ridiculous programs… There’s not wrong with stand and stir programs like Giada, Ina, Nigella and the like that actually teach viewers something useful. The Cooking Channel and Food network suck

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