The pizza chain launched the promotion in New Zealand and Australia earlier this week, saying all “mask wearing, law abiding Karens… that aren’t, well, ‘Karens'” were eligible to enter online for a chance to win a free pizza.
But after it received complaints that the promotion was insensitive it pulled the offer from New Zealand and apologized in a Facebook post on Wednesday.
In popular internet culture, the name “Karen” has come to be used as a pejorative term to refer to white women who are ignorant of their privilege and are offensive and entitled.
“Well, today we’re taking the name Karen back,” the statement added, saying Domino’s wanted to “celebrate all the great Karens out there.”
Missed the mark
However, the promotion prompted a flurry of responses 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.
The chain said it had decided to delete its post in the country because “people interpreted this in a different way than we intended” in New Zealand.
“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.
Not everybody was pleased to see the New Zealand offer pulled. On Facebook, one person said: “I understood your intentions with that post, you’re right not everyone with the name Karen deserves the flack that the stereotype Karen gets.
“It’s unfortunate it got turned completely into something negative. Good on you for addressing/acknowledging the issue.”
“Really… That’s sad. I registered for a free pizza. Can’t believe people complained,” said another.