Infowars Retracts Video Tying Chobani Hires to ‘Migrant Rapists’By
Alex Jones apologizes for April comments about yogurt maker
Chobani settles defamation case it filed in Twin Falls, Idaho
Right-wing conspiracy theorist and Infowars host Alex Jones apologized for accusing yogurt maker Chobani LLC of employing “migrant rapists.”
“On behalf of Infowars, I regret that we mischaracterized Chobani, its employees and the people of Twin Falls, Idaho, the way we did,” Jones said in a 35-second video posted on YouTube.
A spokesman for the yogurt maker confirmed that Jones’s retraction resolves a defamation lawsuit that Chobani filed on April 24 in Twin Falls, Idaho, where the company operates a plant that employs 1,000 people. Michael Gonda, the spokesman, declined to discuss details of the settlement. Infowars representatives and a lawyer for Jones didn’t immediately respond to email and phone messages.
Chobani alleged in its state-court complaint that the video posted by Infowars on April 11 falsely claimed that the Chobani plant, opened in 2012, was “caught" importing “migrant rapists," as well as bringing crime and tuberculosis to the southern Idaho town of about 50,000 people.
Jones said in his apology that the original YouTube and Twitter posts have been removed and won’t be reposted.
“During the week of April 10, 2017, certain statements were made on the Infowars’ Twitter feed and YouTube channel regarding Chobani LLC that I now understand to be wrong,” Jones says in the video.
Hamdi Ulukaya, Chobani’s billionaire founder who moved to the U.S. from Turkey, has made a point of hiring refugees to work at his factories. He’s also been critical of Trump’s anti-refugee policies.
The case is Chobani LLC v. Jones, CV42-17-1659, District Court for the Fifth Judicial District of the State of Idaho (Twin Falls).
— With assistance by Erik Larson