Papa John's founder John Schnatter reportedly said he didn’t want to work with singer Kanye West because he uses the N-word in his lyrics, according to a letter he sent to the company board of directors.
Marketing firm Laundry Service reportedly wanted Schnatter to bring on West as a co-spokesman for television spots and promotions, but he declined, according to reporting by CNBC.
Schnatter sent the memo over the weekend, criticizing the board for allegedly forcing him to step down before investigating the recent complaint against him.
“The board asked me to step down as chairman without apparently doing any investigation," he said in the letter obtained by CNBC. "I agreed, though today I believe it was a mistake to do so. I have checked with corporate governance experts who tell me that this was not a proper action by the Board."
The former chairman was evicted from company headquarters Sunday and lost his “founders agreement” in addition to being removed from marketing materials after admitting to using the N-word during a conference call in May 2018.
During the call, Schnatter was said to be participating in a role-playing exercise, when he allegedly stated that “Colonel Sanders called black people n------,” and claimed that Sanders never got backlash for it.
The pizza chairman then allegedly spoke of growing up in Indiana, where the outlet reports that he said “people used to drag African-Americans from trucks until they died.” Despite intending for the sentiment to convey his opposition to racism, Forbes’ source said that multiple people on the call were offended.
Schnatter’s lawyer, Patricia Glaser, who has also represented Harvey Weinstein, said he is "not going quietly," CNBC reported.