Sydney chef Fatimah Omran slammed for using ‘racist’ word for Cheer cheese
A Sydney chef has defended her use of a “racist” word when referring to a popular cheese brand in a viral clip.
Culinary teacher Fatimah Omran shared a recipe on her TikTok account earlier this week that called for the use of Cheer tasty cheese, formerly marketed as Coon.
This brand of cheese famously underwent a name change in July 2021 amid racism concerns, due to the former name being widely regarded as an offensive racial slur.
Instead of using the new name, Cheer, Fatimah told her followers to use “Coon cheese” in the recipe, which saw her being inundated with angry messages.
The 42-year-old says she never meant to use the word in an offensive way, would never be racist, and was simply referring to the type of cheese she was using.
“I’m always posting my recipes online, and that day I was making a three cheese sandwich for my daughter,” Fatimah told news.com.au.
“I thought it was important to name the cheese so my audience would use the right one.
“I’ve never stopped calling it by the original name, and I felt like a fake if I were to call it by its new name, Cheer.
“I was definitely surprised that instead of comments applauding my yummy creation, people were focusing on my voiceover and what I called the cheese.
“I’ve never been racist. My Lebanese background would never allow me to be racist as I’ve experienced racism first hand.
“I believe we are all equal and my reference in the video was clearly towards a cheese. Not a person. You can’t be racist to cheese.”
Fatimah said her inbox was flooded with angry messages from people, many of whom used racial slurs against her based on her ethnic and religious background.
The mum-of-three issued a public apology on her Instagram after the backlash for any offence caused by her video.
“I posted a public apology on my Instagram platform and the support I received was overwhelming and beautiful,” she said.
“My inboxes were flooded with people also claiming they refuse to name the cheese…