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Ex-Papa John’s CEO says he’s been working for 20 months to get N-word out his vocabulary

John Schnatter appeared on OAN to speak about the backlash he’s received since being outed as a racist.

John Schnatter Getty Images

John Schnatter, founder and former chairman of the Papa John’s pizza franchise, said that he’s been trying to eradicate the word “nigger” from his vocabulary for the past 20 months.

On Monday (March 8), Schnatter appeared on OAN to speak about the backlash he’s received since being outed as a racist following a 2018 conference call when he reportedly used the N-word. OAN host Kara McKinney asked the former CEO how he felt when he saw the headlines “smearing” his “good name.” He said he was in a “state of shock” when he was dismissed from his role at the popular pizza chain.

As he’s previously done, Schnatter blamed the board members for his removal from the company. According to Mediaite, he was likely referring to those at Wasserman Media Group, whom Schnatter sued. He also filed a suit against the 247 Group for breaching their contract by recording and leaking the call.

“You have a public board that paints its chairman ... as a racist,” he said. “They know he's not a racist. It’s just unbelievable. And I used to lay in bed just going, ‘How did they do this?’ And we’ve had three goals for the last 20 months: To get rid of this N-word in my vocabulary and dictionary and everything else, because it’s just not true, figure out how they did this and get on with my life.”

People on social media were shocked — but not surprised — to hear Schnatter’s new interview. Twitter user @mmpadellan tweeted, “The CEO of Papa Johns said he was shocked that people thought he was a racist AND that it took him 20 months to purge the N-word from his vocabulary. He said these things seconds apart.”

“Imagine how heavily Papa Johns had to be slinging around the N-word for him to have to take almost a full 2 years to try and rid himself of it,” tweeted @burntoutbozo.

Check out Schnatter’s interview below.

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