Paula Deen Thanks Food Network Hours After Getting Fired

Celebrity News Jun. 22, 2013 AT 11:30AM
Paula Deen thanked the Food Network hours after she got the boot from the channel on Friday, June 21. Paula Deen thanked the Food Network hours after she got the boot from the channel on Friday, June 21. Credit: Ray Tamarra/Getty Images

Paula Deen wants to clear the air in her kitchen. Following Food Network's decision to fire the 66-year-old celebrity chef and not renew her contract in light of her racial slur scandal, she's trying -- once and for all -- to make peace. 

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In a statement to CNN released on Friday night, the chef thanked the network for 11 "great years."

"I have had the pleasure of being allowed into so many homes across the country and meeting people who have shared with me the most touching and personal stories," she said. "This would not have been possible without the Food Network. Thank you again. Love and best dishes to all of ya'll."

The apology may be a little too late for the network, which announced Deen's firing early Friday afternoon. On the morning of Saturday, June 22, Deen's scheduled one-hour block of programming was yanked from the channel, with Giada Laurentiis' Giada at Home and Ree Drummond's Pioneer Woman being shown instead.

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Deen came under fire after admitting last month under oath in a deposition to using racial slurs -- including the N-word -- in the past. After bailing last minute from a scheduled appearance on the TODAY show on Friday to address the scandal, Deen released two video apologies on YouTube.

"I want people to understand that my family and I are not the kind of people that the press say that we are. I've spent the best of 24 years to help myself and others. Your color of skin, your religion, your sexual preference does not matter to me," she said.

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The Emmy-winning star continued, "I am here to say that I am so sorry. I was wrong, yes. I've worked hard and I've made some mistakes. But that is no excuse."

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