Founder of Papa John’s Pizza, John Schnatter, somehow keeps finding himself on the wrong side of race relations. Schnatter was forced to step down as CEO of the company he founded after making incendiary remarks to justify his franchise’s flagging sales. The decline in sales, Schnatter speculated, was due to a decline in viewership of NFL football games, which the pizza company officially sponsors. Schnatter blamed the declining viewership on NFL player protests against police brutality and systemic racism and the league’s inability to stop them, even though trends indicate the decline preceded the protests and proceeded thereafter, unaffected by the protesting players.
Despite Schnatter’s apology for that kerfuffle, his company lost 11% of its value, although it did gain fans among MAGA losers, who declared Papa John’s “the official pizza of the alt-right.”
Though he stepped down as CEO, Schnatter retained control of the board of directors, and, once he succeeded in ousting the executive responsible for keeping him off the airwaves, hired a PR firm to rehabilitate his image. To say those efforts have had mixed results is a gross understatement.
On a conference call with his PR firm and Papa John’s executives in May, Schnatter used the n-word, offending many of those listening, according to reports and Schnatter’s own confirmation. Schnatter used the racial slur during—brace yourself—a role-playing session for Schnatter to practice responding to future race-based flare-ups. That’s right, Papa John used the n-word WHILE TRYING TO PRACTICE NOT BEING RACIST.
According to Forbes,
On the May call, Schnatter was asked how he would distance himself from racist groups online. He responded by downplaying the significance of his NFL statement. “Colonel Sanders called blacks n—–s,” Schnatter allegedly said, before complaining that Sanders never faced public backlash.
So, uh, yeah he could probably use a little more practice! Also, Colonel Sanders was born in the f*cking 19th century and died in 1980, he wasn’t really around long enough for white people to care about racism. And the good people at KFC have at least tried to erase his legacy by trotting out a cavalcade of terrible impersonators to play him.
The response from Twitter ranged from “roasting him extra crispy,” to “original recipe boycott.”
After Papa John’s stock took another nosedive, Schnatter confirmed the comments and apologized for making them, saying, “News reports attributing the use of inappropriate and hurtful language to me during a media training session regarding race are true. Regardless of the context, I apologize. Simply stated, racism has no place in our society.”
Ok, now apologize for how sh*tty your pizza is.