NEW YORK — Paula Deen's multimillion-dollar merchandise and media empire continues to unravel following revelations that she used racial slurs in the past.
Target Corp., Home Depot Inc. and diabetes drug maker Novo Nordisk on Thursday became the latest companies to distance themselves from the Southern celebrity chef.
Home Depot, which sold Paula Deen-branded cookware and kitchen products only online, said it pulled the merchandise off its website on Wednesday. And Target said that it will phase out its Paula Deen-branded cookware and other items in stores and on its website.
"Once the merchandise is sold out, we will not be replenishing inventory," said Molly Snyder, a Target spokeswoman.
Meanwhile, Novo Nordisk said it and Deen have "mutually agreed to suspend our patient education activities for now." Deen, who specializes in Southern comfort food, had been promoting the company's drug Victoza since last year when she announced she had type 2 diabetes.
These are the latest blows dealt to Deen since comments she made in a court deposition became public. Last week, the Food Network said that it would not renew her contract. On Monday, pork producer Smithfield Foods dropped her as a spokeswoman.
Then, on Wednesday, Walmart Stores Inc., the world's biggest retailer, said it too was cutting ties with Deen following a tearful "Today" show interview in which she said she's not a racist.
On the same day, Caesars Entertainment announced that Paula Deen's name is being stripped from four buffet restaurants owned by the company. Caesars said that its decision to rebrand its restaurants in Joliet, Ill.; Tunica, Miss.; Cherokee, N.C.; and Elizabeth, Ind., was a mutual one with Deen.