WASHINGTON (Circa) -- John Schnatter has resigned after reportedly used the N-word during a Papa John's conference call, Forbes reports.
In a statement from the company, Papa John's said they've accepted Schnatter's resignation and will appoint a new Chairman of the Board.
Schnatter, the founder and chairman of Papa John's, was talking to marketing gurus from agency Laundry Service. The agency's duty was to help Schnatter avoid public relations controversies. He was under scrutiny for blaming slow sales at Papa John's on protests during the national anthem before NFL games - the pizza chain was the league's official pizza chain.
When asked how he would hypothetically prevent himself from being associated with racist groups, Schnatter said “Colonel Sanders called blacks n—–s.” He also described African-Americans being dragged from trucks until they died during his early days in Indiana. His response was intended to show that he is against racism.
Schnatter confirmed to Forbes that the event happened.
”News reports attributing the use of inappropriate and hurtful language to me during a media training session regarding race are true,” he said. “Regardless of the context, I apologize. Simply stated, racism has no place in our society.”
Laundry Service would go on to end their contract with Papa John's after learning what happened. The marketing service announced this week they were laying off 10 percent of their workforce - some of whom worked through the company's contract with the pizza chain.
Here is Papa John's full statement on Schnatter's resignation:
Papa John’s International, Inc. (NASDAQ: PZZA)today announced that the independent directors of the company have accepted the resignation of John H. Schnatter as Chairman of the Board. Olivia Kirtley acts as the company’s Lead Independent Director. Papa John’s will appoint a new Chairman of the Board in the coming weeks.