Paula’s Next Move Could Be ‘Dancing With the Stars’: Report

Does Paula Deen have what it takes to compete on "Dancing With the Stars"? Seen here: Last season's winners: Kellie Pickler and Derek Hough; inset: Deen on "The Today Show" last week (Photos: ABC, NBC)

While a slew of major companies sever their ties with Paula Deen, she has reportedly been “approached” about competing on “Dancing With the Stars.”

This scenario seems to have been first mentioned here on VH1 on its web series “The Gossip Table.” Then it was picked up here by the Los Angeles Times.

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“The celebrity chef has been approached to join the cast of ABC’s dance contest this fall,” the L.A. Times reported in its follow-up to the VH1 story. But the L.A. Times story provided no further details on what this “approach” may have consisted of — or how serious this approach really was. In addition, it was unclear if ABC made this approach, or Deen was contacted by the show’s production team.

In the story, ABC had no comment. And Deen certainly didn’t mention it in her tearful interview last Wednesday with Matt Lauer on “The Today Show.”

The L.A. Times story did note that Deen has commented in the past on “DWTS” and the possibility of her appearing on it. “Fat girls don’t look good sweating,” she reportedly said in 2010 when a round of stories emerged that she had been invited to do the show, but declined.

Here in the present day, however, participating on “DWTS” could conceivably be part of a strategy she may be mulling to restore her image, following the n-word scandal that has her cooking empire in free-fall.

Remember when Paula Deen was everybody’s favorite TV chef? Watch this and you’ll see why:
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Our take: The continuing fall-out from the scandal may make her participation on “DWTS” unfeasible for the simple reason that the show’s sponsors may not support the idea — despite the possible ratings boost Deen might give the show. Some of those sponsors may, in fact, be some of the companies severing their relationships with Deen — including Sears and Walmart. Those companies, and others like them, have signaled that they don’t want to be in business with Paula Deen at the present time. It’s doubtful they’ll change their minds by the time the new television season rolls around in just two months.

The fall of Deen’s food empire stems from her admission in a deposition that she used the “n-word” in the past. She made the admission in a sworn deposition she gave in a lawsuit brought against her by a former employee who accused Deen of fostering a hostile working environment at her Savannah restaurant.

The opinions expressed are solely those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of Comcast.

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