Chobani, the company that in short order upended the supermarket dairy aisle by proving that Americans would love Greek yogurt, this week filed a lawsuit against the right-wing website Infowars in Idaho. The company filed the lawsuit in Idaho District Court in Twin Falls, where it operates the largest yogurt plant in the world. The Washington Post reported that Jones published criticisms about Chobani's hiring practices, claiming that the practice of hiring refugees attracted crime and disease to the small Idaho town.
If it seems like Chobani is taking Jones more seriously than, say, the rest of the Internet, because the founder, Hamdi Ulukaya, has been under attack from Jones, repeatedly, over the previous year, after announcing that he'd hired around 300 refugees to work in his factories. As of the time of their filing, claims about Chobani and their owner, Hamdi Ulukaya, were still accessible on the "Alex Jones Channel" on YouTube as well as the main Infowars website.
Chobani says the sexual assault case is in no way linked to the company's work force. Around 150 people retweeted the Tweet, Chobani says, so as unbelievable as the claim may be, they claim they suffered harm.
After learning of the Chobani lawsuit against him, Alex Jones has vowed to fight the case and says that the defamation suit has no merit.
However, last year, the company found itself on the receiving end of an elaborate far-right narrative after three boys, two of whom were refugees from Eritrea and one from Iraq, sexually assaulted a 5-year-old girl in a Twin Falls apartment complex. It is unclear if the families of those children accused in the sexual assault were actually Chobani employees. After outlets published stories alleging that the mayor of Twin Falls, Shawn Barigar, was participating in a "mainstream media coverup" to protect Chobani, he and his wife received death threats. "Mr. Jones has now taken aim at Chobani and the Twin Falls community".
In a statement from their lawyers, Chobani references Jones' past conspiracy theory behavior to cast doubt on these extreme claims.
The complaint mentions that Jones has made controversial statements in the past, including that the federal government was behind the Sandy Hook school shooting and 911, and notes that the Southern Poverty Law Center described Jones as "almost certainly the most prolific conspiracy theorist in contemporary America".