June 27, 2013
Paula Deen Axed By Diabetes Drugmaker

Paula Deen's business relationship with drugmaker Novo Nordisk has been terminated, at least for now.

The number of companies parting ways with Paula Deen continues to grow.

The pharmaceutical company says it is suspending their partnership with the southern cooking diva. Paula Deen has previously lost her gigs with the Food Network, Smithfield Foods, Walmart, and others following the ongoing scandal. Deen has been engulfed in a huge controversy as a result of a lawsuit filed by former employee Lisa Jackson who accused Deen and her brother of sexual harassment and using racial slurs while she worked as manager of Uncle Bubba’s Seafood and Oyster House in Savannah, Ga. The revelations emerged as a result of deposition transcripts in the case.

Paula Deen caught a lot of "heat" last year for hooking up with the pharma company in a lucrative endorsement deal in the first place after she publicly revealed that she suffered from type 2 diabetes. As Forbes explains, "The makers of diabetes drug Victoza partnered with Deen in 2012 following the announcement of her diagnosis with the disease." Deen was a spokeswoman for the company's "Diabetes in a New Light" marketing campaign.

As we reported previously, Deen has always come in for no small bit of criticism due to the style of meals featured on her shows, but has always unabashedly piled on cheese, butter, and deep fried dishes with abandon despite growing concerns about general American obesity and the impact of content like Deen’s on a populace struggling with the condition.

In a statement about Paula Deen, Novo Nordirsk diplomatically said in part: "Novo Nordisk and Paula Deen have mutually agreed to suspend our patient education activities for now, while she takes time to focus her attention where it is needed."

The company also thanked Deen for her work in diabetes awareness "where she has helped make many people aware of type 2 diabetes and the lifestyle changes needed to control this serious disease."

UPDATE FROM NOVO NORDISK: Following the publication of this article, Novo asked that we clarify their partnership with Paula Deen. The company writes:

"Novo Nordisk and Paula Deen have mutually agreed to suspend our patient education activities for now, while she takes time to focus her attention where it is needed.

Novo Nordisk would like to acknowledge Paula’s involvement in our Diabetes in a New Light™ campaign, where she has helped make many people aware of type 2 diabetes and the lifestyle changes needed to control this serious disease."

Do you think Paula Deen's career is salvageable?