Papa John’s Founder Rejects Charges of Racism By Revealing He’s Been Working for 20 Months to Get the N-Word Out of His Vocabulary


John Schnatter, the founder and former CEO of pizza chain Papa John’s, appeared on OAN to reject charges of racism against him, claiming he’s been working “for the last 20 months” to “get rid of this N-word” from his vocabulary.

In an interview spotted by @mount_bees, OAN host Kara McKinney asked Schnatter, who was accused of saying the N-word while speaking on a company conference call in May 2018, why he has been the target of “heinous” and “evil” attacks.

McKinney was likely referring those at Wasserman Media Group, whom Schnatter sued, along with 247 Group, for breaching a contract by recording and leaking information from the May 2018 call.

Schnatter accused Casey Wasserman, head of Wasserman Media, of merely being jealous of him, as Schnatter is a right-leaning self-made man.

The former CEO also noted that several Papa John’s board of directors also benefited from kicking Schnatter out of the chain, claiming it led to a gain of “tens of millions of dollars.”

McKinney continued to ask Schnatter about the insults launched against him, asking Schnatter what he thought of headlines “smearing” his “good name.”

“Um, state of shock,” Schnatter answered, claiming he used to sit in bed wondering how they managed to disparage his name.

“We’ve had three goals for the last 20 months,” he added. “To get rid of this N-word in my vocabulary and dictionary and everything else, because it’s just not true. Figure out how they did this, and get on with my life.”

Watch above, via OAN.

UPDATE 6:36 p.m.: John Schnatter sent the following statement to Mediaite regarding his comments on OAN:

“In internal meetings with my team, we often discuss our top goals. This includes eliminating the false perceptions in the media about my comments on a conference call with my ad firm in May 2018 in which I expressed my complete disdain for racism, following which the firm reversed my meaning when leaking the tape to damage my company’s brand.

“On OANN, I tried to say, ‘Get rid of this n-word in (the) vocabulary and dictionary (of the news media), and everything else because it’s just not true,’ – reflecting my commitment to correct the false and malicious reporting by the news media about the conference call.

“It was proven in an investigative report by former FBI Director Louis Freeh that there was nothing racist in my words or actions on the conference call with our ad firm and that there has never been in my history. In fact, I said then, ‘I never used the word’ on that call, though the media failed to report that crucial qualifier when I was paraphrasing a third party.”

This story has been updated to credit @mount_bees with having spotted the Schnatter interview.

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