It’s not just Americans who want nothing to do with Joseph Stalin, As it turns out, Russians don’t like the man much either.
All Papa John’s pizza restaurants in Russia thought it would be a really cool idea to use an important person in Russian history as the promotional code for customers to have a chance of winning a free pie.
This limited offer was in conjunction with the web game World of Tanks, and the premise was simple: name the person a World War II-era Soviet tank was named after. The answer? Joseph Stalin.
It all started on January 4 when the promotion began. It was picked up by an editor of a local Russian television station, who then took to Facebook in an uncontrollable rage (we’re editorializing a bit here), according to RT.com.
Papa John’s pizzeria has introduced a promotional code JOSEPHSTALIN. They offer a Hawaiian or a pepperoni for the dictator’s name. Seriously. I’m not kidding. My grandfather Aleksey Somov was repressed with his only fault being an engineer and building an electric mill (which was ruled ‘excessively bourgeois’ and demolished), so I send my best regards to these sick bastards.
Who would have thought, but it turns out that Russians have some pretty strong opinions about the mustachioed dictator. One irate woman, Tatiana Sabina, even took to Papa John’s’ Facebook wall, saying “Such a shame. My family used to order pizza from them. Now to commemorate my two granddads who I’ve never met because of the damned mustached [dictator] I will forget there is such a pizza house. Don’t enjoy your meal!”
The pizza chain’s staff did end up gutlessly apologizing, taking to Facebook with this message:
Papa John’s pizza chain sincerely apologizes to anyone whose feelings were hurt by the ‘josephstalin’ promotional code… Papa John’s did not under any circumstance intend to reconsider or give a personal assessment of Joseph Stalin’s record – we always try to stay out of politics. Unluckily, we failed to do so this time.
Yes, some people got their feelings hurt, though we’re sure it had nothing to do with entire families disappearing under his magnanimous reign during the middle of the 20th century. They were just sensitive and special snowflakes, right?
The company that makes World of Tanks of course had to say something. Wargaming’s PR manager, Maksim Koltonyuk, told RT, “Wargaming company has no relation to this offer. We don’t have any joint activities with Papa John’s chain and we don’t plan to. Moreover, the use of World of Tanks game name hasn’t been approved by us. We are investigating the current situation.”