The yogurt brand is suing the conspiracy theorist and his website over false information. Chobani alleges InfoWars fabricated stories about its CEO, Hamdi Ulukaya, and suggested the company was linked to a sexual assault case involving three refugee children. On April 11, InfoWars released a video accusing Chobani—which employs 400 refugees—of "importing migrant rapists." It also claimed the yogurt-maker covered up the sexual assault case in a left-wing agenda effort.
But according to a report by the Idaho Statesman, police and prosecutors said the conspiracies were mostly false; that "there was no rape, no knife was present, and authorities followed proper protocol." The website also took aim at Ulukaya for being a Turkish citizen:
"Why has this foreign citizen been showered with $800,000 in "Small Business" loans and allowed to use that to lobby his way into Michelle Obama's $15B school lunch program and sit on the NY Federal Reserve Board, even though he's still a Turkish citizen?"
According to the Statesman, the lawsuit alleges Chobani reps repeatedly requested Alex Jones and InfoWars remove the inaccurate coverage, but to no avail. Chobani claims InfoWars violated the Idaho Consumer Protection Act by knowingly misrepresenting facts that were harmful to its business. The company seeks at least $10,000 in damages, attorney fees, and punitive damages.
This isn't the first time Chobani and its CEO have come under attack for their refugee hiring practices. As Fast Company reported last month, Ulukaya's actions have invited death threats from far-right critics. At the same time, it's brought invitations to speak at the World Economic Forum, with industry leaders hailing him as a conscientious global leader.
"You have to lead by example," Ulukaya told Fast Company. "Chobani can inspire a new way of business, a new way of work, a new way of innovation … Chobani is a place where everyone is welcome."
[Photo: Chobani via Wikimedia Commons] R