According to an Australian conservative commentator, the firing of up to seventy-five workers at a factory that formerly produced Coon cheese is a case of “go awake, go broke.”
The then-90-year-old Australian Coon cheese brand changed its name to Cheer in July 2021 in response to a campaign claiming the previous name was racist.
Cheer cheese’s owner, Saputo, has always maintained that the cheese was named after Edward Coon, an American cheesemaker.
Tuesday evening, Sky News Australia host Rowan Dean reacted to the layoffs by stating, “Who would have thought? “Go woke, go broke.”
“We did warn more than a year ago that if Coon cheese decided to go woke…”, he said as co-host Rita Panahi laughed.
However, Saputo stated that the layoffs were due to financial losses and milk supply problems.
In an advertisement (seen), Coon cheese announced their name change to Cheer. Sixteen months later, the company is laying off 75 employees.
Dean remarked, “We now know that Coon cheese changed its name to the really catchy Cheer cheese – I mean, that truly flows off the tongue.”
They recently laid off seventy-five employees, and it appears they’re going down the proverbial drain.
To support his argument, he consulted conservative American commentator James Morrow in his Washington, DC office.
“Of course, this was destined to occur. There was an unnecessary amount of controversy surrounding it,’ said Morrow.
One activist spent ten to twenty years attempting to change the name of this cheese, as you may recall.
Morrow was likely alluding to the Aboriginal activist Dr. Stephen Hagan, who, along with many others, lobbied for twenty years to have the company name changed because the word “coon” is a racial insult.
Then it became Cheer cheese, which sounds like a laundry detergent or something similar,’ continued Morrow.
Dean and Panahi then laughed in agreement at his remark.
However, Saputo, the Canadian firm that owns the Cheer cheese brand, stated that the layoffs were due to declining sales and milk supply issues.
It is unknown if the name change from Coon to Cheer contributed to the decline in sales of the cheese, or if higher prices caused consumers to move to less expensive goods.
Leanne Cutts, its chief operating officer, described it as a “very difficult decision.”
She stated, “Today’s announcement continues our journey towards long-term success for our business in Australia by increasing our efficiency and productivity and making us more competitive.”
The management of the three affected sites will discuss redeployment and retraining opportunities with affected employees.
Ms. Cutts stated, “These individuals will be offered with severance pay and outplacement assistance if no new positions are available.”
Rita Panahi (left) and James Morrow (right) laughed as Rowan Dean (center) stated that the name change from Coonies to Cheer cheese would result in the layoff of 75 employees.
When the name change was revealed in January 2021, however, several individuals stated they would boycott the company due to the name change.
A man tweeted, “What an absolute farce this is!” It’s been “Coon” cheese for 85 years, and it’s the founder’s damn surname.
Prior to changing its name to Cheer, Coon cheese had been a favorite of Australians for nearly nine decades. Featured is an aged
“What a world this has become – full of sensitive f**ks! Not purchasing this cheese any longer!’
Another said, “My parents’ refrigerator has always included Coon cheese for the past 53 years, as has mine.
When the name is changed, we will discontinue purchasing Coon cheese.
Daily Mail Australia has reached out to Saputo for comment.
COON/CHEER CHEESE HISTORY
The legendary Australian brand was established as Red Coon in 1931.
It was named after Edward Coon, an American cheesemaker who in 1926 patented a method for the rapid maturation of cheese via high temperature and humidity.
The brand name was changed to Coon in 1959.
In 2001, activists initiated a campaign to change the name due to its allegedly racist connotations.
Aboriginal campaigner Dr. Stephen Hagan did not feel that the brand name originated with Mr. Coon, but rather that it was always a racial joke.
Events such as the Black Lives Matter movement assisted activists in having their opinions heard.
In 2021, Saputo, the proprietors of Coon, announced the name change to Cheer.
Dr. Hagan told ABC at the time, “I argued the cheese brand was disrespectful and that it demeans people of color.”
Saputo, a Canadian corporation, stated, “One of our fundamental beliefs as an organization is to treat individuals with respect and without discrimination, and we will not tolerate behavior that violates this ideal.”
“We wanted to ensure that we listened to all of the concerns regarding the Coon brand name, while also taking into account feedback from consumers who value the brand and feel a connection to its founder, Edward William Coon.
After careful thought, Saputo has chosen to discontinue the Coon brand.
Dr. Hagan applauded the move, stating, “If I hadn’t taken a position, we’d still be eating Coon cheese 20 years from now.”