In light of celebrity chef Paula Deen's recent controversy concerning past use of the N-word, her former Food Network colleagues, Patrick and Gina Neely, have come forward publicly with their thoughts on the matter.
In a joint statement to ETonline, the Down Home With the Neelys stars reveal that they were unhappy to learn about Deen's behavior, but have faith that she will emerge from this controversy a better person.
"We were shocked and saddened to learn of the comments from Paula Deen. Racism of any kind from anyone is simply unacceptable and cannot be tolerated," said the couple.
"In our own relationship, Paula has shown us kindness and generosity. We trust that Paula's apologies are sincere and hope there is a positive lesson to be learned from this situation."
Late last week, Deen issued a public apology for her use of racially-charged language.
"I want to apologize to everybody for the wrong that I've done," she said. "I want to learn and grow from this. Inappropriate, hurtful language is totally, totally unacceptable."
In the days since, Deen has been dropped as a spokesperson for Smithfield Foods and denied a contract renewal from The Food Network. Stores such as Kmart, Walmart, Target and Sears have also cut ties with the chef.
Kristen Stewart starred with the late James Gandolfini in the 2010 indie drama Welcome to the Rileys, and has now broken her silence on the sudden passing of her co-star on June 19.
"When I heard of James' passing I was in New Orleans, where we met shooting, and every memory flooded back and gutted me," she tells Entertainment Weeklyin a statement. "I'll hold that time near to me forever. He was immeasurably great. My heart goes out to his beloved family."
The unlikely pair got close throughout filming as necessitated by their intense roles -- Stewart played a fragile 16-year-old stripper/teenage prostitute, while Gandolfini played a protective figure who lost his own child but is trying to save her instead.
Gandolfini was clearly fond of Stewart, praising her in a Variety review he wrote of her 2012 film On the Road.
"As soon as she steps into the movie On the Road, you can't take your eyes off her. As Marylou, whenever she fixes her gaze, you see someone who will go as far as she can, and do it as mad as she can, to live and feel alive. And it is sexy and scary and reckless and smart," he wrote of the Twilight star. "She can play all of these things. She has them at her fingertips. She is just beginning. She is fearless. And that can be that good, and that can be very bad. But she is smart enough to handle it. Stick around my friends, and there will be much, much more to come. Thinking about it, I am smiling already."
Former reality star and mom of eight Kate Gosselin has responded to the controversy over a much-criticized photo that surfaced on Twitter of her wearing a geisha-style wig and pulling her eyes up at the corners to imitate an Asian person.
On her personal blog, Gosselin acknowledges that the photo is authentic and clarifies that it was only meant to be stored on her home computer and was released to the public without her permission. "This was a happy memory of mine. It was a happy time for me and (ex-husband) Jon, smiling and 'goofing off' together," she wrote. She also posted a photo taken at the time of Jon wearing the same wig.
She states that the Asian dress-up wig arrived in the mail from a fan so she and Jon decided to have fun with it. "We smiled, each taking turns posing in it and snapping photos (on my phone) of each other. Naturally, I 'slanted' my eyes to show him my best Asian impression, which made him smile," Gosselin said.
The couple divorced in 2009 after starring in the reality show Jon & Kate Plus 8, which portrayed the couple's up and downs with their eight children comprising a set of sextuplets and twins.
"I married an Asian," she wrote, referring to Jon's Korean heritage. "I have eight biracial children therefore I'm quite certain that I'm the last person that could be called a racist. I learned to cook Korean foods from Jon's mom and grandmother. I couldn't be more proud of my eight beautiful children and wouldn't change anything about them or their heritage."
Her blog post ends with, "The blaring fact that remains is that a personal photo that left a warm and happy memory, was taken and misused without my permission and opportunistically turned into something that it never was intended to be."
On June 26, The Supreme Court declared The Defense of Marriage Act is "unconstitutional as a deprivation of the equal liberty of persons that is protected by the 5th amendment," thereby giving legally married, same-sex couples, the same federal rights as heterosexual couples. The pending Prop 8 appeal was also dismissed.
Following the landmark decision, celebrities such as Leonardo DiCaprio, Lena Dunham, Lady Gaga and more took to Twitter in droves to praise SCOTUS on their decision!