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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

Image issue: Papa John's still tied to founder under fire

  Image issue: Papa John's still tied to founder under fire Papa John's founder John Schnatter is no longer CEO or chairman, but his image is still in the center of the company's logo and he owns nearly 30 percent of the company. 

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.”

Papa John's to pull founder from marketing

  Papa John's to pull founder from marketing Papa John's plans to pull founder John Schnatter's image from marketing materials following reports he used a racial slur. A person inside the company with knowledge of the decision said the decision to remove Schnatter as the marketing face of Papa John's was made by top executives and the details and exact timing are still being worked out. The person, who was notified of the decision but wasn't authorized to speak publicly, was not aware of any plans to change the pizza chain's name.The decision was made by top executives but details of the change are still being worked out, according to a person inside the company with knowledge of the decision who wasn't authorized to speak publicly.

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.


AP Source: Jazz ending sponsorship deal with Papa John's .
The Utah Jazz are ending their sponsorship agreement with Papa John's Pizza after the company's founder and spokesman used a racial slur. A person with knowledge of the team's decision confirmed the move Friday and said it was because of the controversy. The person spoke on the condition of anonymity because the organization will not make a formal announcement.A number of professional and college teams have cut ties to the company over Papa John's founder John Schnatter's comment during a company conference call in May.Schnatter apologized and stepped down as chairman but remains on the company's board.

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