Our local Brandon location of this popular pizza chain is likely breathing a sigh of relief they were not part of a recent social media firestorm "down under". Domino's pizza pulled a promotion offering free pizzas for "great" people named Karen after social media went into meltdown in reaction. The promo in New Zealand and Australia said all "mask-wearing, law-abiding Karens... that aren't, well, 'Karens'" are eligible for free pizza. But after complaints the promotion was "insensitive" it was pulled and Domino's apologized in a Facebook post on Wednesday.
As you may have read, the name "Karen" has come to be used as a "non-flattering" term to refer to white women who appear to others as ignorant of their privilege and are offensive and entitled. In a press release issued on Tuesday in Australia, Domino's said the word had become "quite the insult to anyone named Karen, so today we're taking the name Karen back." However, the promotion prompted a social media meltdown online from people who said Domino's had not hit the right tone, and instead should focus on real minorities, the vulnerable, and marginalized groups. Some posted how they were upset, since "there were "genuinely" marginalized people who should be recognized."
In response, Domino's New Zealand apologized on Facebook, writing in a post: "We are sorry. Throughout Covid-19 we've tried to bring a smile to customers' faces, with our pizza and our social media." The chain said it had decided to delete its post in the country because "people interpreted this differently than we intended. 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," it said in the post.