The disgraced founder of Papa John’s Pizza has decided to play the victim.
Earlier this week, John H. Schnatter resigned as the company’s chairman after he admitted to dropping the N-word during a conference call with a marketing agency. The 56-year-old billionaire now claims his words were taken out of context and that he was pressured to use the slur.
“The agency was promoting that vocabulary […] And I made it real clear: ‘Listen, we’re not gonna go there. We’re not gonna talk about this,’” Schnatter told Louisville radio station WHAS. “They pushed me and it upset me, and I just said, ‘Listen, other people have used that word. I don’t, and will not use that word and people at Papa John’s don’t use that.’ And that was the comment. But they actually wanted to get into that vocabulary, and I said absolutely not.”
So, Schnatter claims he only used the word because he was trying to distance himself from shameless bigots who use the word. Mmmkay?
In another interview with WLKY, Schnatter accused the aforementioned marketing agency of trying to blackmail him after he was “pushed” to use the N-word. He said he refused to meet their demands.
“They wanted $6 million to make it go away. I'm like, ‘I'm not paying you $6 million,’” he told the radio station. “And they made it pretty clear […] the words were ‘If I don't get my (bleep) money, I'm going to bury the founder,’ said one of the executives. So, I'm not for sale. They can take the $6 million and whatever, they're not getting it. So, yeah they tried to extort us and we held firm. They took what I said and they ran to Forbes and Forbes printed it and it went viral.”
You can check out Schnatter’s WLKY interview above.