Domino’s Pizza in New Zealand has pulled the plug on its promotion offering free pizza to women named Karen.
The pizza giant came under fire this week over the offer that promised to give all “nice, law-abiding Karens” a free pizza in Australia and New Zealand.
The goal of the ad was to reclaim the name “Karen,” which has recently become a meme used to describe white women who complain and abuse their privilege, often during incidents that highlight their racism.
The Domino’s giveaway was titled “Calling all (nice) Karens” and asked women named “Karen” to write a 250-word essay about why they were “nice Karens,” per the BBC.
The free pizza giveaway was posted to the social media pages of Dominos in Australia and New Zealand and it was swiftly met with backlash.
“It’s a tough time to be a Karen,” began the since-deleted promo. “Karen the nurse, Karen the teacher, Karen the mum, Karen the neighbour, — we’re all in this together, but a vocal minority have given the name ‘Karen’ a bad rap this year.”
“What used to be a light-hearted meme has become quite the insult to anyone actually named Karen. 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!”
One Twitter user said the pizza giveaway was “rewarding privilege.”
“Most of the time Karens are entitled, privileged white women. If a few people actually called Karen can’t handle the meme they should try handling 400 years of oppression,” the user wrote, according to Buzzfeed News.
Another critic challenged the company to give away free food to people who are more deserving, writing: “Give pizza to people in poverty, people who can’t get a wage subsidy…people who are ACTUALLY struggling,” according to the BBC.
Domino’s New Zealand has apologized and dropped the promotion. The pizza giveaway in Australian is reportedly still running.