Published June 25, 2013
LOS ANGELES – Country cooking queen Paula Deen's admission last week that she had used the N-word in the past is causing some companies to abandon ship, but not the cruise that bears her name.
Deen's annual “Paula Deen Cruise” on board the “Mariner of the Seas” has been flooded with so many calls, the cruise is adding an extra departure in 2014.
"Due to so many requests from Paula’s fans in the past we are actually planning two cruises for 2014 and look forward to both," a rep for the cruise told FOX411's Pop Tarts column. "It’s always an amazing time with Paula, her family and fans. If she goes – we go."
And the cruise line is not alone.
Deen, 66, is scheduled to make appearances at the Metropolitan Cooking and Entertaining Show in Houston and Dallas in September, and in Washington, DC in November. She remains a key personality on the website with tickets to see her specifically ranging from $95 to $500.
“Paula Deen has been a friend of The Metropolitan Cooking & Entertaining Show for many years. She has apologized and we are taking her apology at her word and moving forward accordingly,” the show's rep told us. “The Metropolitan Cooking & Entertaining Show does not condone or believe in the use of derogatory slurs by anyone. This is a nation of forgiveness and second chances. In that spirit we intend to go forward with the MetroCooking Shows in Houston, Dallas and Washington, DC as planned with Paula as a presenter.”
Another company standing by Deen is the Vicroza Brand, who brought Deen onboard last year to hawk their diabetes drug Novo Nordisk.
“We recognize the seriousness of these allegations and will follow legal proceedings closely, staying in contact with her. As a company committed to improving the lives of people with diabetes, Novo Nordisk engaged Deen as a spokesperson because of her commitment to increasing awareness about diabetes to millions of people in this country,” the rep told us.
At least one of Deen’s restaurants hasn't taken much of a hit either. Over the weekend, fans flocked to her wildly popular Savannah restaurant The Lady and Sons, waiting in long lines to get to the buffet, offering support, and even talked of boycotting the Food Network for its decision to axe Deen programming.
On Friday, the Food Network announced Deen’s contract would not be renewed, and on Monday, Smithfield, the pork company that sold a ham with her name and face on it, said she would be their endorser no more.
"Smithfield condemns the use of offensive and discriminatory language and behavior of any kind," the company said in a statement. "Therefore, we are terminating our partnership with Paula Deen. Smithfield is determined to be an ethical food industry leader and it is important that our values and those of our spokespeople are properly aligned."
Many of Deen's other business partners are also teetering, including home shopping giant QVC.
“QVC does not tolerate discriminatory behavior. We are closely monitoring these events and the ongoing litigation,” rep Paul Capelli, told FOX411's Pop Tarts column. “We are reviewing our business relationship with Ms. Deen, and in the meantime, we have no immediate plans to have her appear on QVC.”
The fate of Deen’s cookware collection is also up in the air. Retailers Wal-Mart and JC Penney sell her line but have so far stayed mum on the situation. A rep for Sears Holdings, which sells Deen’s products at Kmart and Sears, stated that the company “is exploring next steps as they pertain to Ms. Deen’s products” and Target is “evaluating the situation.”
The book publisher Random House is slated to release “Paula Deen’s New Testament: 250 Favorite Recipes, All Lightened Up” in October. Rep Stuart Applebaum told us that the book presently remains on course for a fall publication, although they are “monitoring the situation closely.”
Las Vegas-based Caesars Entertainment Corporation hosts Deen restaurants in several casinos. A company said they too will “continue to monitor the situation.”
The fate of her magazine “Cooking with Paula Deen” also remains unknown. Its Alabama-based publisher Hoffman Media told a local news outlet that it “does not condone discrimination of any kind,” adding "we are not in a position to discuss her magazine and contract right now.” Hoffman Media did not respond to a request for further comment.
So where does this all leave Deen?
“Paula Deen is finished as a bankable personality. It doesn’t appear that anyone will stand behind her now. Her video apologies seemed stage and were unpersuasive. There is nothing more she likely can do in terms of salvaging her career,” crisis communications expert Gene Grabowski of Levick Strategic Communications told FOX411 Pop Tarts column. “Most important of all, there are plenty of other younger and more attractive personalities among chefs and foodies that the cable networks can find, cultivate, and promote to take her place.”
But publicist Glenn Selig says Deen still has a shot.
“Her biggest problem in the short-term will be with retailers, e-tailers and anyone else who has a business venture with her. They will feel the pressure to drop her. But I think it’s a good idea for companies in business with Paula to wait and see how this plays out. We don’t fully know what we did and how bad it is and how the public will come down on this,” he said.
Indeed the saga surrounding the cooking connoisseur could be heating back up. On Monday, Radar Online published fresh accusations from another former employee, a black man named Sheldon J. Ervin, who said he was forced to work events at Deen’s mansion on several occasions without pay, and previously filed an Equal Employment Opportunity and Diversity complaint against the silver-haired star.
Deen's rep did not respond to a request for further comment, but she is scheduled to appear on the Today Show to talk about the situation Wednesday morning.