In the table game of sociopolitical whimsy, Domino’s just lost at dominoes.
If you’re like me, you love a good pizza.
And a good Karen story.
Concerning the former, I’ll take anything with everything. As for the latter, I’m partial to a pandemic patriot who pepper-sprayed a pair for eating while unmasked.
For a recent moment in time, the Australian and New Zealand branches of Domino’s Pizza baked both ingredients into its “Calling All Karens” promotion, which was a downright delicious idea.
The company wanted to sooth the souls of those marked by a now much-maligned moniker.
The New Zealand Herald explains:
The pizza franchise decided to give “Karens” a break from negativity by rewarding 100 people with the name a chance to win free pizza.
It asked Karens, who could prove their name with ID, to tell Domino’s in 250 words or less how they’re one of the “nice” ones.
Here’s how the chain laid it out online:
CALLING ALL (MASK WEARING, LAW ABIDING) KARENS! 😷🚨
It’s a tough time to be a Karen.
Karen the nurse, Karen the teacher, Karen the mum, Karen the neighbour, Karen the mask wearer – we’re all in this together, but a vocal minority who believe rules and laws don’t apply to them have given the name “Karen” a bad rap this year.
At Domino’s, we know there’s plenty of Australians named Karen that aren’t, well, “Karens”.
Let us know if you’re one of them by completing the form via the link below. We may send some pizza your way!
CALLING ALL (MASK WEARING, LAW ABIDING) KARENS! 😷🚨It’s a tough time to be a Karen. Karen the nurse, Karen the…
As reported by the New York Post, regional chief marketing officer Allan Collins thought it was a slice of awesome:
“Well, today we’re taking the name Karen back. At Domino’s, we’re all about bringing people together and we want to celebrate all the great Karens out there by shouting them a free pizza!”
Unfortunately, woke warriors found the promotion problematic.
From the BBC:
The offer was immediately criticized, with many arguing “Karen negativity” was an issue that affected mostly “privileged white women.”
One melting muckraker wrote thusly:
“Domino’s New Zealand, I would like to speak to your manager, please! I cannot believe the ignorance displayed in this post and the narrative you are trying to spin on this. There is so much context missing from this and you. Domino’s NZ have failed to recognize the harm this post has caused. I suggest you take this down immediately and publicly apologize.”
Another critic pummeled the pizza maker over the savagery of slavery and appeared to accuse cops of skinning the citizenry:
“Most of the time ‘Karens’ are entitled privileged white women. If a few people actually called Karen can’t handle the meme of it they should try handling 400 years of oppression. They should try watching their people killed by police officers solely for their skin.”
most of the time “Karens” are entitled privileged white women. If a few people actually called Karen can’t handle the meme of it they should try handling 400 years of oppression. They should try watching their people killed by police officers solely for their skin.
— ariel reyes (@aramreyess) July 29, 2020
The denouncement was extra-thick:
it’s a tough time to be black, trans, homeless, jobless. never ordering from you guys again this is just more reason to support local.
— kyle ! (@kylewinstan) July 30, 2020
There are so many GENUINELY marginalised people doing it tough right now/always, & you wanna give free pizza to… Karen? This misses the mark completely. Give pizza to people in poverty, people who can’t get a wage subsidy… people who are ACTUALLY struggling. pic.twitter.com/Pdd54DsqO4
— Alanah Parkin 🏳️🌈 (@AlanahParkin) July 28, 2020
the whole idea around “karen’s” is showing how these entitled privileged white women use their skin and status as power of others less fortunate than them. how they know that they can get their way just by being an “attacked” white woman. they don’t deserve free pizza.
— ariel reyes (@aramreyess) July 29, 2020
Please Dominos, stop.
… don't get in my mentions defending the Karens. Karens ring the police on unarmed PoC. Karens ask to speak to the manager and actively try & get low wage workers fired. Karens put people at risk by refusing to wear a mask. Karens don't need your defense. pic.twitter.com/zUs1vN28TQ
— Chloe Ann-King (@GGrucilla) July 29, 2020
One tweeter — “headass chelsea” — celebrated the collective condemnation on behalf of Black, Indigenous, People of Color, otherwise known as “BIPOC”:
god i truly do love seeing dominos get dragged for that “calling all karens” stunt. try and clapback to a whole heap of enraged bipoc when you wanna reward more privilege to the most privileged in our society LMFAOOOOO U CLOWNS
— headass chelsea (@luvdrps) July 29, 2020
This problem-solver offered an alternative:
Why not people named Breonna? Or George? Or any of the names of the Indigenous Australian people who have been murdered in police custody?
— Ella Ceolin (@ellaceolin) July 30, 2020
Even a Karen got in on the action:
My name is Karen. Please don’t waste a pizza on me, MUCH rather you donate pizza (or, $) to local orgs and charities supporting those actually affected by the 2020 crises.
Here’s some examples: https://t.co/k5HImGnLxw
— Karen Freilich (@KarenFreilich) July 29, 2020
You can guess what happened next — the pizza people issued a Large mea culpa pie.
With extra humility and a side of Sorry Sticks:
We are sorry.
Throughout COVID-19 we’ve tried to bring a smile to customers faces, with our pizza and our social media.
Our post came off the back of a number of situations in Victoria, Australia which received international media coverage, including in New Zealand. A person who decided they didn’t have to follow the mandate and wear a mask and took it out on retail workers; a person who breached a COVID-19 checkpoint, potentially endangering others; a person who was bored walking in her neighbourhood. These examples were widely known, and publicly commented on: Bunnings “Karen”, Checkpoint “Karen”, and “Karen” from Brighton.
We wanted to bring a smile to customers who are doing the right thing – Karen the nurse, Karen the teacher, Karen the mum.
In New Zealand, because it lacked this important context, people interpreted this in a different way than we intended. We appreciate how this has happened and have listened – we’ve removed this post.
Our intention was one of inclusivity only. Our pizza brings people together and we only had this at the heart of the giveaway.
We want you to know that we are always listening and learning and when we get it wrong, we fix it.
We are sorry.
We are sorry. Throughout COVID-19 we’ve tried to bring a smile to customers faces, with our pizza and our social…
So goes surrender to society’s new Meat Lovers — the cannibalistic woke.
But if you ask me, their outrage was nothin’ but cheesy.
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