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Face of Papa John’s steps down following N-word debacle

By Abdirahman Ali,

John Schnatter, founder and public face of pizza franchise Papa John’s, resigns from his position as chairman of the company’s board after Forbes reported Wednesday that Schnatter used the N-word in a conference call back in May.

The conference call was between Papa John’s executives and marketing agency Laundry Service, and the purpose of the call was to help Schnatter prevent public relations scandals. In a role-playing exercise, Schnatter was asked by the marketing agency how he would distance himself from racist groups on the internet.

Attempting to downplay comments he had made in November 2017, Schatter said, “Colonel Sanders called blacks n—–s,” complaining that Sanders hadn’t faced similar public backlash. He continued to describe how during his childhood in Indiana, people dragged Black people from the back of trucks until they died.

Though Schnatter ostensibly intended for his comments to demonstrate his opposition to racism, individuals who were on the call found them to be offensive.


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