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11:23 am
Tue May 28, 2013

Papa John Schnatter Responds After Employee Leaves Racially Offensive Voicemail

Credit Shutterstock.com

Papa John's chief executive John Schnatter has issued an apology after an employee in Sanford, Fla., accidentally left a voicemail brimming with racially offensive language to a customer.

The voicemail—an apparent "butt dial"—was included in a YouTube video. In it, the Papa John's employee complains to a co-worker about the tip left given by an African-American customer. It gets offensive fast, and the other person laughs. (Here's the YouTube video, which, obviously, has offensive language.)

(Update: The video has been removed because it violates YouTube's policy on "hate speech." ABC News has a description of what was said.)

They don't work for the Louisville-based pizza chain anymore.

On Monday, Papa John's posted to Facebook a statement from Schnatter about the incident.

Friends, I am extremely concerned to learn about the reprehensible language used by two former employees in one of our restaurants. Their thinking and actions defy both my personal and the company's values, and everything for which this company stands. The employees responsible for this absolutely unacceptable behavior were immediately terminated.

My heartfelt apology goes out to the customer involved, his family, and our community at large. I am very sorry that anyone would be exposed to these hurtful and painful words by any person involved in any way with our company.

Thank you for your important comments. I have personally reached out to our customer to share my own thoughts and offer my deepest apology.

Sincerely,

John Schnatter

Chairman and CEO

Papa John’s

It's worth noting that Sanford, Fla., isn't new to race issues.

(Image via Shutterstock)

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