John Schnatter, founder and ex CEO of Papa John’s Pizza used the N-word in an interview with the marketing firm “Laundry Service” while doing a role playing exercise intended to prevent future comments leading to boycotts of the company. He used the racial slur stating that “Colonel Sanders, of KFC called Blacks ni**ers” and never received any public scrutiny for it. Schnatter did apologize, but shortly after his comment, Schnatter was forced to resign as CEO of the company. He was already in trouble for blaming the National Football League (NFL) for a drop in sales for not fixing the problem with the Players kneeling during the National Anthem.
Now the family of KFC’s founder Harland Sanders, defend Sanders in how Schnatter is trying to pin the N- word on their Grandfather and that it is “an absolute lie,” according to Trigg Adams, Colonel Sanders, grandson. “Because of his prejudices, he’s trying to say somebody else was, too. (Sanders) Had absolutely no prejudice against anybody”. Colonel Sanders died in 1980 and made over $20 million in donations to black churches and communities before his death. He also attended many black churches.
During the same time, Forbes was doing their own investigating before Schnatter put his foot in his mouth. Interviews with current and former employees of Papa Johns found he had been inappropriate with employees including spying, and sexual harassment. Reports even showed that two confidential settlements came of it.
Colonel Sander’s great-granddaughter, Cindy Wurster Sjorgen said in a statement, Sanders “was a swearer but never a racial slur. For Mr. Schnatter to use the colonel as a scapegoat for his own horrible, disgusting mouth, and racist beliefs is inexcusable.”
Yum Brands who owns KFC and Papa Johns headquarters are in Louisville, Kentucky.
Wendy’s Old Fashioned Hamburgers was in the midst of working a deal to merge with Papa Johns before the CEO was forced to step down. Schnatter cannot talk to the press, and he has to distance himself from the company altogether. The company is already working on removing his “Face” from all advertising. A Gym in Jeffersonville, Indiana, the hometown of Schnatter, already changed its building name from John H. Schnatter Nanchland Fieldhouse back to Nanchland Fieldhouse. The agreement was placing his name on the building for the $800,000 donation from Papa Johns. The Mayor says he is unsure if they will ask for their gift back.