Paula Deen's sudden cancellation of a planned interview on "Today" left the show's hosts fuming on Friday.
Deen was supposed to be interviewed about the stunning legal deposition that shows her admitting to having used the n-word and to a seemingly never-ending host of other racially problematic things. But she pulled out with no notice, leaving Matt Lauer hanging.
Usually, viewers don't witness the complicated behind-the-scenes wrangling that goes on between TV shows and the guests that they interview. When those guests don't show, though, hosts like nothing more than to expose everything.
Lauer is something of a specialist in this regard; he once went all the way to Los Angeles to interview Lindsay Lohan, only to have to tell viewers exactly how she had stood him up.
So it was on Friday, as he took Deen to task:
"We arranged an interview this morning. We agreed there would be no restrictions for that interview, only that it would be open and candid. She told me at one point, Savannah, 'I don't know how to be anything but honest.' I said fine. She got on a plane, arrived in New York City last night and then we started to hear from her people that she is 'exhausted.' ... She has not called us at all this morning. Her publicity person and I spoke a little while ago. Simply said, they believe she is in the hotel, but she has not confirmed anything other than that she is not here right now."
Al Roker chimed in too, laying on the guilt.
"She's been on the show so many times," he said. "She's a friend of the show, we consider her a friend, and we would hope that she'll reconsider because she really needs to address this."
Lauer also took to Twitter:
Hoping to get more info on the Paula Deen situation soon. Very confusing.
— Matt Lauer (@MLauer) June 21, 2013
UPDATE: Deen later apologized to Lauer, saying she was "physically not able" to attend the show. Her pleas were to little avail, though, as the Food Network announced it was dropping her show.