After posting a cringe-worthy “thirst trap” involving a 21-year-old actress on TikTok, Papa Johns founder John Schnatter is being mocked online.
Since being removed as CEO of Papa John’s in 2018 for blaming low sales on NFL players kneeling during the national anthem, Schnatter seems to be exploring a career as a TikTok star.
Social media was ablaze recently after Schnatter responded to a video posted by Canadian actress Paige Madison, where the former CEO flirts and delivers an embarrassingly awkward eye wink.
In the video, Evans can be seen lip syncing to audio from the Emmy award-winning show “Fleabag,” with actress Phoebe Waller-Bridge’s voice in the background.
“Don’t flirt with him,” Waller-Bridge utters, before Paige responds she’s “not going to.” Then, Evans slowly turns her head and sees the man in question: Schnatter.
Schnatter responded by duetting Evans’ video, sharing his own version that plays out side-by-side with hers. As Schnatter turns his chair around, he strikes a flirty expression, nodding his chin before winking at the camera.
The amount of uneasiness we immediately felt could fill an entire room.
The video has already earned 2.4 million views, with users seeming more horrified than amused.
“Papa John, what are you doing? You’re supposed to be taking anti-racism classes, why are you thirst trapping on TikTok?” one user commented.
“I just got secondhand embarrassed that I don’t think I can recover from,” commented another.
Six months after Schnatter stepped down as board chairman of Papa Johns, he was recorded using the n-word during a company conference call. “Colonel Sanders called Blacks [n-word],” Schnatter said during the call while discussing NFL players kneeling for the national anthem.
When speaking to One America News (OAN) in March, Schnatter accused his colleagues of unfairly ‘painting’ him as a racist.
“State of shock. Unbelievable — I just couldn’t understand it,” he said. “You have a public board who paints its chairman … paints the founder as a racist, they know he’s not a racist — it’s just unbelievable.”
In December 2020, Schnatter’s attorneys released an investigate report into Schnatter’s 2018 comments, claiming he did not “use the word as a racial slur nor was it directed at any person or group.”
“The news media falsely and repeatedly reported allegations of racial bias involving John Schnatter, ignoring and failing to report critical exculpatory facts relating to both incidents,” the report stated. “Our investigation determined that Mr Schnatter was quoting someone else’s use of the word to emphasize that he felt a double standard had been applied against him.”
Schnatter later appealed for Papa John’s to deliver him an apology, urging they admit they failed to due their ‘proper due diligence and process with Delaware law’ before removing him from the company in 2018.