Today Hosts Reveal Paula Deen Backs Out Of Interview Where She Would Address Use Of Racial Slurs

During Friday morning’s Today on NBC, the hosts revealed that the celebrity chef Paula Deen had backed out of a scheduled appearance on the program. Deen has been surrounded by controversy recently after she admitted during questioning in a lawsuit that she has used racial epithets against blacks in the past. The Today hosts expressed their concern that Deen has refused to address the controversy.

‘We spoke several times with her people yesterday, and then I spoke with Paula yesterday afternoon,” said Today host Matt Lauer. “We arranged an interview this morning. We agreed there would be no restrictions to that interview, only that it would be an open and candid exchange.”

RELATED: John Oliver Savages Paula Deen Over ‘N-Word’ Controversy: She Might Just Be Suffering From Type-Two Racism

“She told me at one point, Savannah, I don’t know how to be anything but honest,” Lauer continued. He said that they began to hear this morning that Deen was “exhausted” from her trip to New York City and would be unable to do the show. The hosts revealed, however, that no one has been in touch with Deen directly.

“Her publicity person and I spoke a little while ago,” Lauer said.

“She’s been on the show so many times,” Al Roker observed. She’s a friend of the show – we consider her a friend – and we hope that she’ll reconsider, but she really needs to address this.”

Watch the clip below via NBC:

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