6.27.2016

Papa John's refers to Asian customer as "Ching Ching"

Can I get a large pepperoni with a side of racism?



Ah, this again. A Papa John's Pizza employee in Kentucky apparently couldn't be bothered to write the name of an Asian American customer, and instead decided to designate the recent order's recipient as "Ching Ching."

The incident happened over the weekend at the Papa John's location on Taylorsville Rd. in Louisville. It seems that the customer, who is Korean American, got her pizza with an extra unwanted order of racism. On the box label accompanying her order, someone had identified her as "Ching Ching." (Her name is not Ching Ching.)

Laura M. Cheifetz, whose colleague attends church with the customer, shared a photo of the label on social media, urging folks let Papa John's know how they feel about racism with their pizza.




It's straight up racist. The kind of disrespect that happens when you can't just be a regular-ass customer ordering a friggin' pizza on a Saturday night, like anybody else, without getting dehumanizing slurs thrown at you. On a pizza label of all places. Forget your name. You are reduced to a racist label. You are "Ching Ching."

This, of course, isn't the first time something like this has happened at a Papa John's. In 2012, a Korean American customer in New York City was referred to as "lady chinky eyes" on an in-store receipt.

According to Cheifetz, the customer's friend spoke to the location's shift manager, who said she would "address the issue." The customer also spoke with Papa John's customer service regarding the incident, and was told that "Ching Ching" was the name on the account in their system. I highly doubt that anybody associated with the account would refer to themselves as "Ching Ching."

This customer needs to receive an apology. Somebody needs to get fired. And Papa John's needs to take step to make sure this doesn't happen again. Because honestly, I'm pretty confident this is going to happen again.\

UPDATE: Papa John's official corporate response to the incident: "We sincerely apologize for this mistake and are working to make it right with the customer." Not sure how this could be considered a "mistake." You don't accidentally call a customer a racial slur. This isn't like forgetting to include an order of breadsticks.

UPDATE: Here's the message Papa John's is tweeting out in response to this incident:


The employee in question has apparently been fired. And now what?


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