Papa John Schattner, the founder of Papa John's pizza chain was forced to resign after he was revealed using the n-word during a conference call in May. Now he has came out and is telling his side of the story during an interview with WLKY News. He maintains his apology for using the word, but also maintains he was using it as an example, not to express racism. Also, Schattner claims he was baited into saying it and was also blackmailed for $6 million to keep the incident private. Schattner replied to the blackmail attempt, "I'm not for sale."
"It doesn't matter the context," Schnatter said to WLKY News. "The fact of the matter is that word hurts people. It was a strategy session, it was training. ... I was just repeating what somebody else said. I was actually kind of provoked a little bit."
The marketing agency, Laundry Service, was trying to get Schattner to partner with a third party, which was using the n-word frequently in the discussion.
"This other party used that word a lot," Schattner explained, continuing, "By the fourth or fifth pass, I just said, 'No, we're not gonna be part of any such thing. So-and-so used the n-word, and we don't use the n-word, and we're not gonna use the n-word. And that's it.' So, we kind of shut that down quickly."
More, per Daily Wire:
According to a report from Forbes, during the conference call, Schnatter said "Colonel Sanders called blacks n*****s" and explained that Sanders did not receive similar backlash from the public. The media company was supposed to be helping Papa John's with their public relations.
Two weeks after the call, Laundry Service "tried to extort us," says Schnatter.
"They wanted 6 million dollars to make it go away. ... The words were, 'If I don't get my effing money, I'm gonna bury the founder,' said one of the executives. I'm not for sale."
The company then "ran to Forbes" and the story went viral, Schnatter said.
The founder also hit the media for lying about the incident — something he said he expected — but noted that he was disappointed in local leaders for "caving."
"You know Forbes is gonna lie. You know The Courier is gonna lie," he said. "But you think there would be something solid in these leaders and embrace what really went down."
"I don’t condone racism in any way. Period. It’s just wrong," said Schnatter.
Watch - Papa John Schattner tells his side
The media twisted Schattner's stance to make him look like a terrible racist. When you hear his side of the story, there was obviously no racist intent on his use of the n-word, it was only to quote someone else saying it.
Let's be clear, we do not condone the use of the word, but he certainly has a point.