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Papa John’s Ditches ‘Papa John’ From Branding Following Founder’s Racial Slur
By Mikelle Leow, 16 Jul 2018
Video screenshot via Papa John’s
After 34 years, the real Papa John from American pizza chain Papa John’s is no more.
Following a racist comment he made in a conference call in May, founder John Schnatter has resigned from the company, with the brand recently announcing its decision to remove his face from its marketing materials altogether.
Schnatter said the N-word during a call with marketing agency Laundry Service. He has since confirmed with Forbes that it was for a roleplaying exercise about—quite ironically—fending off negative public relations.
The roleplay came about because Schnatter blamed the NFL national anthem protests for his dwindling sales in 2017. The incident in received public backlash, which forced him to resign from his post as CEO. In 2018, he faces the same kind of disdain from customers.
Schnatter has acknowledged that the slur was unnecessary, and has thus decided to step down from his remaining chairman position.
“Regardless of the context, I apologize. Simply stated, racism has no place in our society.”
Per the Associated Press, Papa John’s has announced a major rebrand that involves the wipeout of its founder’s face from its packaging, advertisements, and restaurant collaterals.
There are no immediate plans to overhaul its name, however.
In a news release by Papa John’s, it confirmed that a new chairman will take over the role “in the coming weeks.”
[via Thrillist, images via various sources]
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