And the next contestant on “Dancing With the Stars” is … Paula Deen?
According to Variety, the celebrity chef will be joining the cast of ABC’s hit show, which has been announcing new cast members in piecemeal fashion.
E! and Us magazine also reported the news, with E! adding that Chaka Khan is on the show’s list as well.
However, the official Twitter account for “DWTS” hasn’t acknowledged Deen’s addition, though it has welcomed social media star Hayes Grier, jockey Victor Espinoza and singer Nick Carter in recent days.
Deen’s Twitter account is also silent on the matter.
Deen has had a bumpy few years since reigning as one of the Food Network’s biggest stars with such shows as “Paula’s Home Cooking” and “Paula’s Best Dishes.”
In 2013, in the course of a deposition to a lawsuit, she admitted using a racial slur. In the aftermath, the Food Network dropped her, she lost endorsements and had a cookbook canceled.
The next year she was the subject of a cover story in People magazine and compared herself to Michael Sam, the African-American football player who had recently revealed he was gay. That led to a round of mockery on social media.
And this year, Deen’s social media sites posted a photo of her and her son as “I Love Lucy’s” Lucy and Ricky Ricardo, with her son in brownface.
Still, Deen has started her own network, including a website, and has a new cookbook due out in September.
The whole “DWTS” cast is scheduled to be introduced next Wednesday on “Good Morning America.” The new season begins September 14 on ABC.