It’s been a weird couple of weeks for the Papa John’s online marketing team, as they continue to desperately try to spin their way past negative comments the company’s founder and CEO, John Schnatter, made earlier this month, blaming protesting NFL players for the company’s declining profits. First, they had to watch Pizza Hut publicly dunk on them, denying that it had seen any similar drop. And then they had to issue the one press statement no PR flack ever wants to have to give, ordering white supremacists not to order or eat their pizza after members of hate aggregator The Daily Stormer began joking about making Papa John’s the “official pizza chain of the ‘alt-right.’”
After two weeks, though, the company has apparently finally had enough time to muster a formal statement of defense, hopping on Twitter tonight to do its best woke-brand impersonation with a wide-ranging “Our bad!” designed to get people back on its side. Most of the three-tweet statement was normal corporate deflection stuff, trying to explain away Schnatter’s comments as simple descriptions of business problems, offering up a “Sorry to anyone we offended” apology, and emphasizing the company’s belief that there’s a way to both protest inequality and “honor our anthem.” But things swerved back to buck-wild at the end, when the company literally told any cheap pizza-loving neo-Nazis in its audience to fuck off.
Bold stuff from a company whose public stances tend to be just as bland as their crust. Sadly, the deployment of a cartoon middle finger, even one pointed in the direction of hate groups, doesn’t seem to have stemmed the tide of complaints about the company’s behavior: