Paula Deen is in hot water over racial slurs and insensitive comments she made in the past to employees. On Friday, her empire began to crumble as companies like the Food Network and Smithfield have terminated her contract and pulled endorsement deals. Others companies such as Sears and Target are evaluating the situation and contemplating whether they should continue selling Deen’s products. More importantly, Paula Deen would be nonexistent without her fan base. So, will they stand behind her, or has she gone too far and offended too many?
With CivicScience’s quick turnaround capabilities, we decided to ask the U.S. how they felt about the situation. Between Monday, June 24th and Tuesday, June 25th we gathered over 3,000 responses.
First, we asked the question that is probably most important to Deen’s reputation and success:
Surprisingly, we see that almost half of the people believe that Paula Deen will win back fans after the public controversy. Roughly 1/3 of the people don’t think she will ever recover her fan base after her racist comments.
People who said that she will be able to win back her fans are more likely to be 45 years old and older, earn $75K-$99K, and are more likely to live in the South. Republicans were 19% more likely than Democrats to say that she would win back her fans.
Those who said Deen won’t win back her fans are more likely to be 34 years old and younger, slightly more likely to be a woman, and more likely to live in the West. Democrats were almost 3X more likely than Republicans to say she wouldn’t win back fans.
Next, we asked specifically about her ties to the Food Network:
Almost 60% of people believe that Paula Deen does not deserve to have her Food Network show cancelled.
People who said that she does deserve to have the show cancelled are more likely to have an advanced degree, and live in the Northeast.
People who said that she doesn’t deserve to have her show cancelled on Food Network are more likely to live in the South, have a high school education, and are more likely to be male.
Finally, CivicScience has been tracking people’s favorite female Food Network personality since November 2012, but we will narrow the results and only look at the past 3 months:
Paula Deen has been in close second over the past 3 months, but let’s look at the results just over the past month:
As you can see, her ratings dropped 4%, which put her in third place.
This number is sure to see more movement over the next few weeks, especially after her interview on the Today Show this morning. So far, people seem to think fans will stand behind Deen, but will it be enough?