A Papa John’s employee was caught using incredibly racist terminology in reference to an Asian-American customer in Louisville, Kentucky.
Laura M. Cheifetz, an woman who works as a Presbyterian Church minister, tweeted that an Asian-American friend of a colleague ordered a pizza over the phone, but when she received it, she saw it was labeled “Ching Ching” where her name should have been.
Cheifetz guessed that the employee who took the woman's order heard her accent and decided to label her pizza via racist slurs rather than her actual name.
Papa John’s responded on Twitter that they would be looking into it, and confirmed the next morning that they had fired the employee who was responsible for the incident: “This action is inexcusable and doesn't reflect our company values. This employee is no longer a member of the PJ's team,” they wrote.
Cheifetz made sure to point out that this was no mere “mistake”—it was a deliberate act of racism, and the distinction is important to note.
There have been similar occurrences recently, both to Asian-Americans and other minorities. In 2013, a CVS employee notoriously labeled a Korean-American woman’s receipt “Ching Chong Lee,” and only a few months ago, an IHOP labeled an African-American couple’s receipt “BLACK PPL.”
Public awareness and backlash is one of the only ways to curb incidents such as these—companies should feel enormous public pressure to immediately address these situations without letting them fly under the radar.
Banner/Thumbnail Credit: Reuters, Rick Wilking