Unless you haven’t been on the Internet for the past two months, you’ve probably seen a clip of John Schnatter discussing his view on the declining quality of Papa John’s pizzas.
The embattled founder and former CEO of the Louisville-based pizza chain said in a sitdown interview with WDRB News in November that he “had over 40 pizzas in the last 30 days” and “it’s not the same pizza.”
Meme fanatics had a heyday with Schnatter’s comments, as the video of the Jeffersonville native talking about his pizza consumption went viral. But in a podcast released on Monday, Schnatter said he hadn’t actually eaten 40 pizzas in 30 days.
Schnatter told Ethan and Hila Klein, the hosts of H3 Podcast, that when he said he “had” the pizzas, he was actually “inspecting” them.
“I’m not eating every pizza,” Schnatter said. “I may be eating parts of pizzas.”
He went on to say that he eats roughly eight or nine slices of Papa John’s pizza per week — a drop from the 12 to 15 he would eat weekly while he worked for the pizza company.
Schnatter also discussed his forced resignation as chairman in July 2018 following a report that he used a racial slur during a conference call, reiterating that his comments were taken out of context and that the company’s board of directors potentially conspired to force him out.
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In his November interview with WDRB, Schnatter said “the day of reckoning will come.” Shortly thereafter, on Dec. 5, he filed a lawsuit against the creative advertising firm, Laundry Service, and its parent company for breach of contract, alleging that they leaked comments from the tape-recorded call in which he used a racial slur.
On Monday, Schnatter clarified that the “day of reckoning” is to “get to the truth” through the lawsuit.
After having a busy last few weeks of 2019, between the interview, the lawsuit and the divorce with his wife of 32 years, Schnatter really ended the year with a bang: pledging to have 50 pizzas in 30 days in 2020.
Contact Ben Tobin at [email protected] and 502-582-4181 or follow on Twitter @TobinBen. Support strong local journalism by subscribing today: subscribe.courier-journal.com.