The Day of Reckoning Has Come — On Papa John's TikTok
Well, folks, it seems there is one singular thing disgraced pizza chain founder Papa John Schnatter was right about amid all of his sweaty, eating-40-pizzas-in-30-days, ominous-laughter-filled insanity: The day of reckoning has clearly arrived in the form of the pizza-roasting, exec-dunking and alleged-tape-leaking that comprises his TikTok account.
First launching his TikTok page in the midst of quarantine's first run last April, Schnatter's early content was on par with what you'd expect of an (estimated) billionaire boomer disgraced for his use of racial slurs apparently trying to earn enough clout to make a public comeback – flexing his wealth. From riding a glorified tricycle through a garage of vintage cars, showing off his private helicopter, and sharing #hustleporn clips about gratitude, Papa John's videos were remarkably average, akin to those of any former “power player” looking to find fame among TikTok-ing teens.
Yet over the past several weeks, the former CEO's content, beloved by an audience of approximately 484,900 followers, began to take a sharp turn for the, erm, reckon-ing. Alongside the videos detailing the Schnatter come-up story and exuberant wealth, the entrepreneur began peppering in videos reacting to pizza fails …
… responding to fan's calls for him to return to his eatery …
… dunking on individuals he identified as his company's execs – and, of course, the media …
… and ominously sharing the viral “day of reckoning” clip, taken from an interview with Louisville, Kentucky's Fox News affiliate in 2019.
However, his reasons for cryptically harkening back to his infamously sweaty video became apparent this week, after the former exec took to his platform to share three alleged “hot mic” clips of execs purportedly talking about how he would inevitably say something questionable during the ill-fated 2018 conference call after which he was ousted. Releasing the full, hour-long video of the infamous call on his website, the purported footage in question was recently unsealed in court, having been used as a piece of “primary evidence” in the pizza entrepreneur's lawsuit against ad agency Laundry Service and their parent company Wasserman Media Group LLC, according to Louisville Business First.
"Now the full recording is public, and people have the full picture. Everyone can hear for themselves how I was raised to totally reject racism," Schnatter explained in a statement, per the business publication. "The American people can hear for themselves that the Laundry Service staff were laughing about setting me up to take a fall."
This release of this video comes just weeks after Schnatter appeared on conservative network OAN, in which he said that getting "rid of this n-word in my vocabulary" was among his top goals over the past 20 months. He conspicuously did not mention if he had successfully accomplished this goal, Business Insider noted.
So folks, remember, regardless of whether you claim you're quoting Colonel Sanders or are allegedly being "set up" in a corporate takedown, maybe refrain from using racial slurs – take it from entrepreneur-turned-TikTok star, Papa John.