It has been one year since celebrity chef Paula Deen was embroiled in a lawsuit regarding her use of a racist slur. Since then, Deen has mostly laid low, but according to AP, she is now planning her return. The 67 year-old, who specializes in rich-tasting Southern cuisine, will launch an online video channel that will require a subscription.
The channel will be called The Paula Deen Network, and it is expected to launch sometime in September. It is sure to feature the same brand of buttery food that served as the staple of Deen’s Food Network cooking show, Paula’s Home Cooking. That program’s 12 year run ended in 2013 after Deen’s aforementioned scandal became public knowledge. Deen maintained an audience on her personal YouTube channel, but even that outlet went dark for more than four months before Deen returned to it to announce her new venture.
By taking her recipes to the Internet, Deen is following in the footsteps of some of her former Food Network colleagues. Most recently, Alton Brown has quickly gained an online following by bringing his quirky kitchen personality to YouTube.
Deen, who has more than 4.2 million likes on her Facebook page, certainly has enough fans to pick up a large online audience; however, she has several other hurdles to clear before she becomes an online video superstar. Most importantly, the use of the word “subscription” implies that fans will have to pay for access to Deen’s videos, a strategy that has rarely worked for online video content creators. And even before her scandal, Deen was roundly criticized for the extremely unhealthy nature of her recipes. So don’t call it a comeback–at least not yet.