When Minhee Cho decided to stop into Papa John’s on Friday night for a quick dinner, she didn’t expect to be insulted. But after receiving the receipt for her order at one of the restaurant chain’s locations in Manhattan, she noticed the cashier identified her as “lady chinky eyes.” Cho is Asian-American.
The next morning, Cho—who is a communications manager at ProPublica, a nonprofit investigative journalism group—posted a picture of the receipt on her Twitter page with the comment, “Hey @PapaJohns just FYI my name isn’t ‘lady chinky eyes’.” Almost immediately, the image went viral, receiving more than 200,000 views over the weekend.
On Saturday, Papa John’s issued a statement on its Facebook page. “We were extremely concerned to learn of the receipt issue in New York. This act goes against our company values, and we've confirmed with the franchisee that this matter was addressed immediately and that the employee is being terminated. We are truly sorry for this customer's experience,” the company said.
Although some commenters on Cho’s Twitpic page are predicting a lawsuit, a spokesman for ProPublica says Cho—who hasn’t commented since the picture went viral—just wants it all to blow over. "This blew up far beyond Minhee's expectations," ProPublica spokesperson Mike Webb said in an email to CNN. "She has reporters coming to her apartment, and that's annoying. So she wants it to blow over and she has nothing more to say."