Through many the ups and downs of my illustrious food writing career, I’ve held onto two core tenets that guide my every decision. First: no raisins. Second: never make fun of other people unless they really, really, really deserve it. It’s not easy to make it into that illustrious club of people I’ll freely mock with utter delight, but there are a select few people in the world who are not just awful and asinine—they have the near supernatural ability to push their awfulness and asininity to new heights on a regular basis. Such is the case with John “Papa John” Schnatter, a living, breathing shitshow who is, quite literally, comical.
We’ve already written so much about Schnatter over the years—the racism leading to his ouster from Papa John’s, the bizarre interviews, the two-story-high sculpture of two eagles having sex that is also a clock—that it’s impossible to recap it all here. (Perhaps there will be a coffee table book one day.) Let’s just focus on the latest news: a televised interview on conservative propaganda network OAN about his claims of a conspiracy inside the Papa John’s organization to get him canceled by “the Woke Mob.” Here are some choice excerpts from the interview (h/t to Media Matters for the transcript):
On the true meaning of evil: “They spent hundreds of millions of dollars promoting me, I’m synonymous with the brand, and then they set me up as a racist. I mean, it’s so bizarre. It’s evil to do this to another human being. I don’t think I ever wanted to see it.”
On the charges that he’s racist: “I’ve never been anything — in my nature to be a racist.”
On the man he hired to save the company’s image, who then precipitated his downfall: “I think Casey Wasserman [owner of creative agency Laundry Service who caught Schattner saying the N-word on tape] was jealous. He’s with the DNC out in California. I have somewhat of a conservative values. So I think he was jealous.”
On the commissioner of the NFL, who was also somehow involved in the alleged plot against Schnatter: “Roger Goodell was angry at me because I was hammering to fix this thing with the kneeling and the players to their satisfaction.”
On a bunch of other guys he hates: “[Laundry Service CEO] Jason Stein was angry because he lost the business. And then you’ve got a couple of Papa John’s board of directors, Mark Shapiro and Steve Ritchie, who benefitted in the tens of millions of dollars from them doing this. So all the stars were aligned perfectly with one motive, and that is to get rid of me.”
On whether or not he just described a conspiracy: “Now, whether that was a conspiracy, whether it was organized or not, we still don’t know that. We’re looking for that. But definitely they all were organized and they did act in my worst interest.”
On how he reacted to learning he was racist: “State of shock. Unbelievable. I couldn’t understand it. I mean — again, we have a public board that paints its chairman, complicit, passive, or active, they paint the founder as a racist. They know he’s not a racist. It’s just unbelievable.
On the emotional toil it took: “I used to lay in bed just going ‘how did they do this?’”
On how he’s spent the last 20 months: “We’ve had three goals for the last 20 months. To get rid of this n-word in my vocabulary and dictionary, and everything else, because it’s just not true. Figure out how they did this, and get on with my life.”
On how long he expects it to take to get on with his life: “Until Papa John’s steps up the plate and owns what they did, this is never going to go away because I’m not going to go away.”
So there you have it, folks. Papa John Schnatter is never going to go away. Maybe if we get extra lucky, he’ll run for senate against Geraldo. Be sure to keep checking The Takeout for new updates on the conspiracy thriller of our lifetime; as always, if you have hot tips on the shadowy cabal trying to destroy John Schnatter, please leave them in the comments.