Domino’s Pizza has dropped a promotion offering free pizza to women named Karen after encountering backlash.
In recent years, the name “Karen” has been used as an insult to describe middle-aged white women who are perceived as obnoxious or racist.
The New Zealand branch of the pizza franchise initially said it wanted to give the “nice Karens” a break from negativity.
But some said it was deaf, ignored more important issues and “privilege rewarded.”
What was the offer?
A giveaway, titled “Calling all (nice) Karens” was posted on the Australian and New Zealand pages of the pizza chain.
He asked those named Karen to tell Domino in 250 words how they were among the “good guys.”
“The name ‘Karen’ has become synonymous with anyone who is entitled, is selfish and likes to complain,” said Domino’s chief marketing officer in the region, Allan Collins, introducing the officer.
“What was once a light meme has become a real insult to anyone called Karen.
“Well, today we’re taking Karen’s name back. At Domino’s we want to bring people together and we want to celebrate all the great Karens by shouting them free pizza! “
What was the reaction?
The offer was immediately criticized, with many arguing that “Karen negativity” was an issue that primarily affected “privileged white women.”
“Most of the time, the Karen are entitled to privileged white women. If a few people called Karen can’t handle the meme, they should try to deal with 400 years of oppression, ”one user said on Twitter.
“When you want to reward more privileges to the most privileged in our society,” said another.
Some have referred to recent incidents in which women have been accused of acting like “Karen”.
“Please Dominos, stop. Karens asks to speak to the manager and actively tries to get low-paid workers fired. Karens puts people at risk by refusing to wear a mask. Karens doesn’t need your defense, ”said another Twitter user.
Others called on the company to find more worthwhile causes, like giving to “people who really need it … like [those] homeless and without food security ”.
Even before the offer, the term “Karen” proved controversial online. Many have argued that the use of the name as an insult is inherently racist and misogynistic.
Qu’a dit Domino’s?
Domino’s New Zealand quickly apologized for the offer on Facebook.
He simply said he “wanted to bring a smile to the clients who do the right thing – Karen the nurse, Karen the teacher, Karen the mom.”
He said his message had come “to the rear of a number of situations in Victoria, Australia. [where] a person who decided that he did not have to follow the mandate and wear a mask and took it away from the traders ”.
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Earlier this month, a Melbourne woman threatened to sue Bunnings hardware store after staff told her it was mandatory to wear a mask. The woman was later nicknamed “Bunnings Karen”.
Domino’s said people interpreted their campaign “in a different way from what we wanted.”
“Our intention was only inclusiveness. We want you to know that we are always listening and learning and when we go wrong we fix it. We are sorry. ”
Domino’s Australia, which is running the same campaign, seems to always have the same offer on their page. The BBC has contacted Domino’s Australia for comment.