Diabetes drug maker drops partnership with Paula Deen
In the days following Paula Deen's admission of using racial slurs and allowing bigoted behavior in her restaurants, companies that had business partnerships with the Southern chef started publicly renouncing their ties to her.
Novo Nordisk, a pharmaceutical firm and maker of diabetes drug Victoza, also "suspended" its partnership with Deen on Thursday.
"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," a spokesperson for the company said.
Novo initially backed Deen when the news of her racist slurs surfaced, indicating that they would continue to keep her on as a spokesperson for the drug while Deen worked on "cleaning up her comments."
New Light Campaign
Deen was originally part of the company's New Light campaign, through which she helped to spread awareness about type 2 diabetes.
In addition to Home Depot, Wal-Mart and Ceasars Entertainment, Novo Nordisk is the sixth company to cut ties with Deen, who made an appearance on the Today Show recently, claiming that she doesn't consider herself to be a racist.
Deen was also fired from the Food Network, and it remains to be seen whether her other partnerships with Target, Sears and QVC are in jeopardy.
As for Novo Nordisk, the company said that its relationship with Deen is suspended, not over.
“It does leave us with an option,” said Novo Nordisk’s Ken Inchausti, “but she needs to focus on rebuilding her relationship with the public.”
Image via Worker Bee