Paula Deen 'MasterChef' Episode: Moderated Appearance?

Paula Deen appeared on Fox's "MasterChef" this week, despite the recent controversy surrounding the Southern food expert.

The competitive cooking reality television series usually stars award-winning chef Gordon Ramsay, chef Graham Elliot and restaurateur Joe Bastianich, but occasionally invites guest judges to the show.

This week, contestants on "MasterChef" were faced with the mystery box challenge where Ramsay's son selected 15 items from the pantry that would be used to make a gourmet dish.

Furthermore, the two-hour episode guest-starred Deen, who helped pick the final four contestants.

Filmed back in March, this was ahead of the scandal surrounding the 66-year-old chef.

Earlier this summer, Deen landed in hot water during a lawsuit deposition when she admitted to using a racial slur in the past.

Because of the controversy surrounding the chef, Fox reportedly considered cutting Deen from the "MasterChef" episode altogether; but could not do so without ruining the episode.

Instead, Fox downplayed Deen's involvement, and did not include the Food Network star in advertisements for the television series at all, according to the Los Angeles Times.

As a result of the controversy, Deen was dropped from the Food Network as well as from sponsors Smithfield Foods, QVC, and many other brands.

"MasterChef" airs on Fox Wednesdays at 8 p.m. EST.

Meanwhile, the lawsuit filed by Deen's employee Lisa Jackson that alleged discrimination and racism at two of Deen's restaurants was dropped earlier this month.

Native to Savannah, Georgia, Paula Deen and her family own Lady & Sons and Uncle Bubba's Oyster House eateries in the city.

Although Deen appeared on "MasterChef," the "Paula's Home Cooking" star declined an invitation to ABC's "Dancing with the Stars" following controversial lawsuit deposition.

"The dance floor is not the appropriate forum for her," said a source close to Deen, according to Us Magazine.

"Dancing with the Stars" is not the only appearance Deen has skipped. The butter-loving cook was slated to appear at the New York City Food & Wine festival this fall, but pulled out of the Food Network-sponsored event last month.

An update appeared on the event's website that read, "Paula Deen has informed us that she will not be appearing at this year's Food Network New York City Wine & Food Festival, which she has tirelessly supported year in and year out. While we are disappointed, we understand and support her decision."

Also backed by the magazine Food & Wine, the sixth annual Wine & Food festival will take place throughout NYC from Oct. 17 to the 20th.

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