Meghan McRoberts reports
She's known for her buttery, southern recipes. But as of Friday, she's also becoming known for her language.
The Food Network fired Paula Deen after she admitted to using a racial slur decades ago. Was that a fair move?
Everyone is developing their own opinions.
For anyone in the food industry, Paula Deen is more than a household name. "Just add some more butter darlin' " recalled Steven Feder, owner of The Riverwalk restaurant in downtown Stuart.
She's an icon and a role model. "She inspired me, I know that. I do lots of dishes with shrimp and grits and roasted oysters, so I learned a lot from her just watching her on TV," said Feder.
Feder has even visited Deen's restaurant in Savannah, Georgia. "She's a southern, American Julia Child," said Feder.
But language she admitted to using at her restaurant is what led The Food Network to fire her.
She's accused of using the "N" word toward employees in the past.
She posted numerous YouTube videos apologizing for using racial slurs.
"What she said is a bad thing. But, you know, something decades ago you know, what can I say," said Feder.
Feder says it's a huge loss to the network and her fans.
Others say the decision to fire her is spot on. "The network got it right," said Rev. Jerry Gore, with the NAACP and the Pentecostal Church of God in Christ in Stuart.
He teaches lessons of equality in his church, saying the racial slur shouldn't be casually used.
"It's a wake up call, and we need a lot of that," Gore said. "We all know what color we are and we don't need to be reminded about the negativity in that word."
Deen's contract will expire at the end of June.