July 30 (UPI) -- The New Zealand wing of pizza chain Domino's has backtracked on a promotion offering free pizzas to customers "named Karen that aren't, well, 'Karens.'"
The New Zealand promotion, and an identical offer in Australia, offered free pizza to women named Karen who don't conform to the stereotypes of a "Karen" -- a term that gained prominence online as a pejorative for White women who act entitled and insensitive in public, often in the context of racism or refusal to wear a face mask to protect from COVID-19.
The promotion called on customers named Karen to fill out an application, and 100 entries would be selected for free pizza.
Domino's New Zealand canceled the promotion after sharp online backlash that called on the chain to instead offer free pizzas to racial minorities or people who have been economically impacted by COVID-19.
"We wanted to bring a smile to customers who are doing the right thing -- Karen the nurse, Karen the teacher, Karen the mum," the chain said in a Facebook post.
The post, which apologized for the promotion, said "people interpreted this in a different way than we intended. We appreciate how this has happened and have listened -- we've removed this post."
The Australian version of the promotion remained active Thursday.
"At Domino's, we know there's plenty of Australians named Karen that aren't, well, 'Karens' -- and we want to send some free pizza their way," the Australian promotion's website reads.