US Papa John's founder apologizes for using racial slur on conference call

00:30  12 july  2018
00:30  12 july  2018 Source:   cnbc.com

Papa John's founder isn't going quietly, lawyer says

  Papa John's founder isn't going quietly, lawyer says Papa John's Founder John Schnatter doubled down on claims he made during a television interview Friday in a letter he sent to the company's board of directors Saturday. Schnatter said he regretted stepping down as chairman last week and now questions how the board handled the investigation into comments he made during a May conference call.“The board asked me to step down as chairman without apparently doing any investigation," Schnatter said in the letter obtained by CNBC. "I agreed, though today I believe it was a mistake to do so.

John Schnatter, the founder and public face of Papa John ' s pizza, apologized Wednesday for using the N-word on a conference call in May. Forbes reported earlier that he used the racial slur while participating in a role-playing exercise designed to prevent public relations crises.

The ex-CEO of Papa John ' s has issued an apology after a report claimed he used an offensive racial slur during a May 2018 conference call with a "Regardless of the context, I apologize . Simply stated, racism has no place in our society." On July 11, Forbes reported that Papa John ’ s founder


Papa John's founder John Schnatter admitted to using the N-word during a May conference call and apologized for the comments after Forbes magazine detailed the incident in an article Wednesday.

“News reports attributing the use of inappropriate and hurtful language to me during a media training session regarding race are true," Schnatter said in a statement released by Papa John's. "Regardless of the context, I apologize. Simply stated, racism has no place in our society.”

Family of KFC’s Colonel Sanders defends him amid Papa John’s racial slur scandal

  Family of KFC’s Colonel Sanders defends him amid Papa John’s racial slur scandal The family of KFC’s Colonel Harland Sanders has come to his defense after Papa John’s founder John Schnatter suggested the colonel had used the N-word but hadn’t faced criticism for doing so. Schnatter resigned as chairman last week after admitting and apologizing for using the racial slur during a conference call. His likeness is being removed from the pizza chain’s marketing and packaging.

Papa John ' s founder John Schnatter is accused of using a highly offensive racial slur during a May conference call , according to Forbes. The Louisville-based pizza baron was asked to role-play through scenarios to help him learn how to handle tough issues.

Papa John ' s founder and CEO John Schnatter (Getty/Michael Hickey). However, since the report was published, Schnatter admitted to using the racial slur in a statement emailed to the news outlet. Here is how the conference call unfolded, according to the Forbes' Noah Kirsch

Schnatter was on a call with marketing agency Laundry Service when he tried to downplay comments he made about the National Football League and allegedly said “Colonel Sanders called blacks n-----s" and complained that the KFC founder never faced public backlash. The call was a role-playing exercise for Schnatter to prevent future public relations fumbles.

“The past six months we’ve had to take a hard look in the mirror and acknowledge that we’ve lost a bit of focus on the core values that this brand was built on and that delivered success for so many years,” CEO Steve Ritchie said in an internal memo obtained by CNBC that was sent Wednesday to team members, franchisees and operators. "We’ve got to own up and take the hit for our missteps and refocus on the constant pursuit of better that is the DNA of our brand.”

Papa John's Further Shuns Founder, Evicting Him From Offices

  Papa John's Further Shuns Founder, Evicting Him From Offices Papa John’s International Inc.’s board put further distance between the pizza chain and its outspoken founder John Schnatter for using a racial slur, agreeing to review all ties to him, evict him from the headquarters, and remove him from all marketing materials. A committee of independent directors ordered the termination of a so-called founder’s agreement that designated Schnatter as the brand’s face and voice and is requesting he cease media appearances on behalf of the firm, the company said in a statement after a Sunday night board meeting.

A new report claims that Papa John ' s former CEO used an offensive racial slur during a May 2018 conference call with a marketing agency — an allegation that is shining negative limelight on the pizza chain once again. On July 11, Forbes reported that Papa John ’ s founder

A racial slur used on a Papa John ’ s pizza order has outraged Denver’s black community and has led to an apology from an embarrassed company. We sincerely apologize for the insensitive behavior of this individual,” Collins wrote in an e-mail to The Denver Post.

Shares of Papa John's fell by as much as 5.9 percent to a new 12-month low of $47.80 a share in intraday trading Wednesday after the report. The news erased $96.2 million in market value. Papa John's is down 12.5 percent year to date while Domino's shares are up 47 percent over the same time period.

"Papa John’s condemns racism and any insensitive language, no matter the situation or setting," a company spokesman told CNBC. "Our company was built on a foundation of mutual respect and acceptance."

Laundry Service, which is owned by sports agency owner Casey Wasserman, reportedly cut ties with an unnamed client in late May due to "the regrettable recent events that several employees of Laundry Service witnessed during interactions with a client’s executive,” according a letter obtained by Bloomberg.

Shelley Lewis, a spokeswoman for Laundry Service, declined to comment.

Public relations consultant Eric Schiffer, chairman of Reputation Management Consultants in Irvine, California, told CNBC that it was a "colossal boneheaded move of which they will now have to rethink if they want to use him as a spokesperson."

Papa John's founder says media agency tried to extort him for $6 million

  Papa John's founder says media agency tried to extort him for $6 million Papa John's founder John Schnatter accused the company's media agency of trying to extort $6 million to keep quiet about using the N-word during a controversial media training call in May.Schnatter, in an interview Friday with a Louisville CBS station, accused media agency Laundry Service of trying to blackmail Papa John's for $6 million to keep quiet about a May conference call in which the founder admitted he used the N-word. He also told the TV station he was provoked into using that language and accused Louisville, Kentucky officials who removed the company's name from a local gym of "cracking.

Papa John ’ s International Inc.’s outspoken chairman John Schnatter has apologized after another controversy over his comments battered the shares of the pizza chain he Schnatter admits using racial epithet on May call with agency. Pizza chain urges staff in memo to take ‘hit for our missteps’.

Papa John ' s founder and CEO John Schnatter at the Indy 500 in Indianapolis, Indiana in May 2015. (Photo by Michael Hickey/Getty Images). John Schnatter—the founder , chairman and public face of pizza chain Papa John ’ s — used the N-word on a conference call in May, a source with knowledge of

The incident underscores the risks of using an individual to represent a brand, said crisis communications consultant Dan Hill, CEO of Hill Impact.

“This is the danger when organizations are too tied to a personality,” Hill told CNBC. “We saw it with Subway and Jared ... when things are going well and those people are popular, and they are doing smart things, it works. But then you have a single point of failure and it’s that person’s actions that reflect on the entire organization.”

The Forbes report comes just seven months after Schnatter abruptly exited the C-Suite. Schnatter faced backlash in November for critical statements he made about the NFL that ultimately caused the league to remove Papa John's as an official sponsor.

He blamed NFL leadership for hurting the company's performance because it hadn't resolved the ongoing controversy over players kneeling in protest during the national anthem.

While Schnatter is no longer the CEO of Papa John's, he is still chairman and is tied with the brand's image and is featured prominently on the company's pizza boxes.

“I think the big thing for them going forward is how do they distance themselves entirely from John?" Hill said.


How do you rebrand Papa John's when the problem is Papa John? .
John Schnatter is Papa John. He's tied to Papa John's advertising as cheese is to pizza, but he resigned as chairman for using a racial slur. How can the Papa John's move forward when the guy causing the company's problems is in the commercials and on all the signs, pizza boxes and even the logo?Schnatter remains on the board and he's still the company's largest shareholder, but Papa John's must now pivot to a marketing campaign not attached to his identity.

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