Papa John's Founder Criticized Kanye West For Saying The N-Word Moments Before Saying The N-Word
Schnatter sent a letter to Papa John’s board of directors where he argued that he was wrongly asked to resign from his position and that his comments during the call had been “mischaracterized,” according to CNBC. In the letter, he also revealed that his using the N-word stemmed from him refusing to work with Kanye West as a co-spokesman for Papa John’s.
The call, which Schnatter refers to as a “diversity media training” session, was with Laundry Service, a marketing agency, back in May.
“During and after that meeting, the Laundry Service leadership strongly urged that our company retain Kanye West as my co-spokesman in the television spots and other promotions,” Schnatter wrote. “I told them that would not work because he uses the ‘N’ word in his lyrics. During this diversity media training, which covered a wide number of topics, I was asked whether I was racist. I, of course, said no — which is a truthful statement as those of you who know me well will attest.”
Following that, members of Laundry Service asked Schnatter about the controversial comments he made regarding NFL owners, to which he argued that he never used the N-word. But in the process of making his argument, he ended up saying the word during the call.
“I then said something on the order of, Colonel Sanders used the word ‘N,’ (I actually used the word,) that I would never use that word and Papa John’s doesn’t use that word,” Schnatter wrote. However, he claims he never meant it as a racial epithet.
Following Schnatter’s resignation, Papa John’s said it will appoint a new chairman in the coming weeks.