Paula Deen is passing on the paso doble. In the Aug. 19 issue of Us Weekly (on stands Friday), a Dancing With the Stars source says the former Food Network star, 66, turned down an offer to compete on the ABC smash.
"The dance floor is not the appropriate forum for her," explains a Deen source. (The Paula's Best Dishes host was dropped by the Food Network in June after she admitted to once using the N-word during a videotaped deposition. The Southern star has also lost multiple endorsement deals.)
Dancing With the Stars co-host Tom Bergeron, for one, would love for Deen to reconsider. "We've seen career resurgences after the show," he tells Us. "People go, 'I remember why I love that person!'"
Professional dancer Cheryl Burke has also expressed interest in casting Deen, saying in June, "Right now, lots of controversial things are happening around her and her situation, and I think coming on something light and fun would be good for her."
Season 17 of Dancing With the Stars returns Monday, Sept. 16, at 8 p.m. EST on ABC. Unlike previous seasons, there will be no results show on Tuesday nights. The new cast will be announced Sept. 4 on Good Morning America.