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TODAY   |  June 24, 2013

Can Paula Deen come back after racism accusations?

Amid a controversial lawsuit in which a former employee is accusing her of harassment and discrimination, the Food Network decided not to renew Paula Deen’s contract. But will the general public forgive the popular cook, who admitted to using the N-word? NBC’s Tamron Hall reports.

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>>> we're back now, 7:44 on a monday morning. we have more on the controversy surrounding paula deen . on friday we learned that the food network would not renew her contract. well, that decision has her fans fired up and some have come to her defense. tamron has the latest developments in this.

>> this story continues. for 11 years deen earned the admiration of viewers with her sweet southern charm and recipes. now the network dumped her. they are hearing from many of her fans that have gone sour. after her last minute cancellation friday here on today.

>> she is exhausted and will not be showing up.

>> reporter: followed by her youtube apology.

>> i beg for your forgiveness.

>> reporter: then the food network 's decision to fire her, this weekend it was paula deen 's fans writing the next chapter in the controversy. on facebook, pages upon pages showing her support started showing up. one called boycott the food network , already over 12,000 likes. another called we support paula deen , 281,000 supporters, many expressing their anger. show me an adult person who has not said the n word in his life, black or white . one person wrote, you without sin cast the first stone . another i will not be watching food network any longer and they can keep their magazine also. hold your head high, paula. deen fans took to the food network page as well where a recipe for casserole drew angry comments instead. it is shameful the way you are treating paula deen one said. another wrote i hope this move hits you hard in your pockets.

>> i'm not surprised that her fans reached out for her but the food network is not that concerned about a few thousand people on social media . they're concerned about sponsors.

>> reporter: meanwhile outside her savannah georgia restaurant, this was the line to get in.

>> i commend her by even apologizing. i know a lot of our political leaders in the nation can't even say they're sorry.

>> people make mistakes. we all have. a step at a time. mistakes. let by gones, be by gones.

>> and while her devotees stand by her, the question remains, will the general public be as forgiving.

>> i think she's as close to dead as a brand as you can find out there. it could happen but it's an incredibly long shot.

>> despite the fan support the fall out may not be over for deen. she also has a deal with the shopping channel qvc and over the weekend qvc shares the concerns being raised around the unfortunate paula deen situation. qvc does not tolerate discriminatory behavior. we're closely monitoring these events and on going investigation. we are reviewing our business relationship with ms. deen and in the meantime we have no immediate plans to point out for qvc . and there are people still critical of her as well.

>> but based on the qvc situation, to be continued. and as we mentioned paula deen will be here for an exclusive live interview this coming wednesday morning on today. she has told us she will be here this time. coming