Papa John’s to pull founder’s im­age from ads

Baltimore Sun - - MARYLAND - By Candice Choi

NEW YORK — Papa John’s, which has fea­tured founder John Sch­nat­ter as the face of the com­pany in lo­gos and TV ads, is pulling his im­age from its mar­ket­ing af­ter re­ports he used a racial slur.

His face was off at least some ma­te­ri­als Fri­day, though the Louisville, Ky.based com­pany said the de­tails and tim­ing for every­thing were still be­ing worked out. The pizza chain said there are no plans to change its name.

The fall­out con­tin­ued Fri­day.

The Uni­ver­sity of Louisville said it will re­move the Papa John’s name from its foot­ball sta­dium, and that it will re­name the John H. Sch­nat­ter Cen­ter for Free En­ter­prise at its busi­ness col­lege.

Ma­jor League Base­ball had also said it was in­def­i­nitely sus­pend­ing a pro­mo­tion with Papa John’s.

This week, Papa John’s was al­ready try­ing to fur- ther pub­licly dis­tance it­self from Sch­nat­ter af­ter Forbes re­ported he used the Nword dur­ing a con­fer­ence call in May. Sch­nat­ter apol­o­gized and said he would re­sign as chair­man. That prompted the com­pany’s stock to re­cover some of the losses it suf­fered af­ter the re­port. The stock closed at $53.55, down .02 per­cent, Fri­day.

Sch­nat­ter had used the slur dur­ing a me­dia train­ing ex­er­cise, Forbes said. When asked how he would dis­tance him­self from racist groups, Sch­nat­ter re­port­edly com­plained that Colonel San­ders never faced a back­lash for us­ing the word. In a ra­dio in­ter­view with WHAS in Louisville on Fri­day, Sch­nat­ter said he was “just talk­ing the way that the Colonel talked.” But, “I said it, and it’s wrong,” he said.

Sch­nat­ter sub­se­quently is­sued a state­ment ac­knowl­edg­ing the use of “in­ap­pro­pri­ate and hurt­ful” lan­guage. “Re­gard­less of the con­text, I apol­o­gize,” the state­ment said.

TI­MOTHY D. EASLEY/AP 2017

Papa John’s founder John Sch­nat­ter has been the face of the Louisville, Ky.-based pizza chain, but that era is end­ing.

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