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Papa John's Founder Slammed for Cable News Comments on Hurricane Ian: 'I Lost a Home' John Schnatter, the ousted CEO of the pizza chain, appeared on a news segment to talk about the devastation in Southwest Florida.

By Emily Rella

entrepreneur daily
Michael Hickey | Getty Images

The founder and former CEO of Papa John's Pizza, John Schnatter, is under fire again after making insensitive comments about losing property amid the wrath of Hurricane Ian.

Schnatter was interviewed on OAN cable news this week where he opened up about how he "lost a home" during the storm.

The interviewer pointed out that Schnatter was taking the call from one of his other homes in Park City, Utah, and that the images on the screen were of his Naples, Florida home that appeared to be "completely underwater" calling the sight "heartbreaking."

The interviewer asked Schnatter, who has no meteorology experience, just how bad the situation was down in Florida, despite previously noting that he was not there.

"That gives you a little bit of perspective, the pictures, on how devastating this storm is. I'm not really worried about myself because I have the resources and the team and institutional knowledge, but you just can't imagine how bad this is," Schnatter said. "My heart goes out to the folks in Florida. Yeah, I lost a home, but they lost everything."

Most users on social media seemed to be aggravated or downright confused as to why, of all people, Schnatter was chosen as the "hurricane expert" for the segment.

Schnatter's net worth is estimated at $500 million. The pizza founder owns multiple homes, including a 16-acre main property dubbed the "Papa Castle" in Louisville, Kentucky. He reportedly purchased it for $11 million.

Schnatter stepped down as CEO of his company back in 2018, after he vocalized that he was unhappy with the NFL's support of the knee-taking protests that were popping up on the field. Papa John's is a sponsor of the NFL.

Months later, he was ousted as Chairman of the Board of the pizza chain after a leaked conference call revealed that he had used racial slurs in discussing his contention with the NFL.

Papa John's was down around 40% in a one-year period as of Wednesday afternoon.

Emily Rella

Entrepreneur Staff

Senior News Writer

Emily Rella is a Senior News Writer at Previously, she was an editor at Verizon Media. Her coverage spans features, business, lifestyle, tech, entertainment, and lifestyle. She is a 2015 graduate of Boston College and a Ridgefield, CT native. Find her on Twitter at @EmilyKRella.

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