AFRICANGLOBE – Sears and Walgreens are the latest companies to distance themselves from celebrity chef Paula Deen.
Sears Holdings, which owns department store chain Sears and discount store chain Kmart, has decided to “phase out all products” tied to Deen’s brand.
“We will continue to evaluate the situation,” the company said in a statement. “Our members’ needs will be given first priority as we work to continue to provide quality cookware in our stores and online.”
Mai Lee Ua, a spokesperson for Walgreens, confirmed that the drug store chain is “phasing out” its Paula Deen products as well. Walgreens owns regional drug store Duane Reade and internet retailer Drugstore.com, along with its namesake brand.
Paula Deen’s business relationships have been steadily unraveling since comments she made in a court deposition entered the public’s eye that revealed her usage of racial slurs in the past. Even after an emotional interview on the “Today” show in which she apologized for her hurtful words and assured the nation that she’s not a racist, Deen has been forced to watch her empire quickly crumble.
Last week, Food Network announced that it would not renew her contract, while Smithfield Foods cut ties with her as a spokeswoman. The world’s largest retailer, Walmart, ended their relationship on Wednesday, and Caesars Entertainment took Deen’s name off of four of its restaurants.
On Thursday, Paula Deen was hit with another volley, as Target, Home Depot, QVC and diabetes drug maker Novo Nordisk dumped her.
By: Kim Bhasin