In this publicity image released by NBC, celebrity chef Paula Deen appears on NBC News' "Today" show, with host Matt Lauer, Wednesday, June 26, 2013 in New York. (AP Photo/NBC, Peter Kramer)
LOS ANGELES--Corporate America may be running away from Paula Deen as fast as it can, but ordinary viewers are sticking with the deposed chef, a new poll says.
Seventy-one percent of respondents said they did not believe that Deen was a racist, according to the online survey from search engine Ask.com.
And nearly two-thirds believe that another network will pick up Deen, who was dumped by the Food Network after scandal engulfed her last month.
A court deposition surfaced in which Deen admitted to using the N-word and also planning a wedding party that would attire black wait staff as slaves.
Deen initially apologized in a series of statements and videos, but emerged defiant in a subsequent interview with Matt Lauer on NBC's Today,proclaiming: "I is what I is."A long list of companies severed ties with her, including Wal-Mart Stores and Kmart.
But many fans seem to believe that Deen's former partners are blowing the incident out of proportion. According to Ask.com, survey participants believed the Lance Armstrong doping scandal and Tiger Woods' sex revelations were worse. (One caveat: it's unclear how many users responded to the Ask.com survey or how the results were tabulated.)
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