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13 July 2018, 09:24 | Anna Jefferson
John Schnatter's likeness is on Papa John's pizza boxes
Papa John's is now scrubbing Schnatter's image from its packaging and marketing materials.
Top executives chose to remove Schnatter but details are still being worked out.
His face was off at least some materials by late morning Friday, though the company said the details and exact timing for everything were still being worked out.
Schnatter has always been the face of the brand, and Papa John's has acknowledged in regulatory filings that its business could be hurt if Schnatter's reputation was damaged. The sourced told the AP they were "not aware" of plans to change the brand's name. The promotion was suspended after CEO John Schnatter resigned in the wake of racial remarks.
While on a call with a marketing agency, John defended his comments about the National Football League, saying KFC didn't face backlash when "Colonel Sanders called blacks n--s", Forbes reported. The promotion allowed baseball fans to get 40 percent off their order at Papa John's the day after any player hit a grand slam by using an online coupon code. He appears on its pizza boxes, in some of its TV ads and in the store's interiors.
Schnatter had used the slur during a media training exercise, Forbes said.
Papa John's is the world's third-largest pizza chain, with more than 350 outlets in the United Kingdom and 4,900 restaurants worldwide. 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 statement on Wednesday, the company said it condemned "racism and any insensitive language".
The Houston Astros didn't announce any direct plans to continue or suspend its relationship with Papa John's, but gave a similar statement, expressing that the team was "incredibly disappointed with the statements made by Papa John's founder John Schnatter", while also saying that they feel "confident that the local franchisees and their employees share the Astros' commitment to diversity and inclusiveness".
Papa John's, based in Louisville, Kentucky, began operations in 1984 and had more than 5,200 locations globally.
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