Diabetes Drug Maker Novo Nordisk ‘Suspends Activities’ with Paula Deen

    June 27, 2013
    Josh Wolford
    Comments are off for this post.

Things have trending downward for celebrity chef Paula Deen in the past week – a lost Food Network contract plus quite a few lost sponsorship deals. I guess that’s putting it mildly. Now, let’s add another to the list – this time it’s a suspended deal with diabetes drug maker Novo Nordisk.

“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,” said the company in a statement. In a Twitter clarification, Novo Nordisk US makes a point to say that they haven’t “dumped” Deen:

Deen’s troubles began after a former employee accused her of using racial slurs as well as participating in active discrimination. A deposition was made public in which Deen admitted to using these racial slurs in the past.

In the last week, Deen has been dropped by Walmart, Home Depot, and Target. She’s also lost a deal with Smithfield Foods.

The “suspension” with Novo Nordisk somehow manages to draw a previous Paula Deen scandal into a current one. Back in January of 2012, Deen made a public announcement that she suffered from type 2 diabetes – but that announcement also came with the new that Deen was now a spokesperson for a diabetes drug – Novo Nordisk’s Victoza.

Of course, the scandal here was that Deen, who had built a career on what most would deem unhealthy eating, was now being paid to market a drug for a condition she’d likely given herself. This sparked plenty of public outrage.

As Anthony Bourdain once put it,

“Thinking of getting into the leg-breaking business, so I can profitably sell crutches later.”

Of course, there are also plenty of Paula Deen supporters to match her detractors. She thanked them all in a tweet Thursday afternoon:

  • Tim Parker

    Just “suspending” Paula Deen. Well, my wife and I are “suspending” our buying your product. Shame, shame for trying to destroy someone who said something, now deemed bad 25 years later. In 25 years from now, if you are still in business you will say (s)(h)(I)(t). Now have a panic attack that you WILL lose money……GREEDY MORONS.

  • Kenneth Ambrozewsi

    If you can suspend Paula Deen for something she said years ago and openly admitted to, I can suspend my use of your product. There are other products out there that does the same as Novolog. Who are you to judge someone for a comment made years ago? Have you never said something that you regret saying? Would you have the guts to admit it? I didn’t think so. Stop worrying about the PC Police and man up! Jumping on the bandwagon is not the way to run a business.
    What would happen if someone said something bad about your product and others jumped on the bandwagon to stop using your product?

  • Jon Lockman

    So basically today. A black person can come out of the woodwork and accuse a white person of something said decades ago and ruin the persons career. What about Jesse Jackson who openly admitted he used to work in a restaurant and spit in white people’s food before it was served. This didn’t hurt his career, did it?
    I think the Food Network and the other companies are walking the fine line of lawsuit time. The lawsuit would be defamation of Paula Deen’s fine character. We live in a lousy country if someone can do 99.9 percent good and get trashed for the supposed 0.1 percent bad. A nation of hypocrisy. What ever happened to what Martin Luther King Jr. said about people being judged by the “content of their character”. the black person who accused Paula Deen should be judged for the content of his or her character and the motivation(s) for disclosing this. The motivation IMO, was to ruin Paula Deen’s career no doubt. The Food Network probably also using this as an “excuse” to fire Paula and to get a younger person’s show airing. So I think age discrimination lawsuit too is possible if Paula can get some facts to back that up. I wish you all the best Paula Deen. You are a wonderful person.