Sunrise exposes the VERY surprising problem with Coon cheese's new name Cheer  

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Sunrise exposes the VERY surprising problem with Coon cheese's new name Cheer  

Sunrise hosts reveal the surprising problem with Coon cheese's new name Cheer - as the dairy product rebrands amid racism claimsBy Mon

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Sunrise hosts reveal the surprising problem with Coon cheese’s new name Cheer – as the dairy product rebrands amid racism claims

Australian cheese brand Coon was officially rebranded as ‘Cheer’ this week, following years of controversy about the name’s historical use as a racist slur.

But not everyone is enthusiastic about the 86-year-old brand’s new name.

The hosts of Channel Seven breakfast show Sunrise agreed on Wednesday they weren’t sold on the name Cheer – mainly because of its confusing pronunciation.

Nothing to cheer about? The hosts of Channel Seven's Sunrise agreed on Wednesday they weren't sold on Coon cheese being renamed 'Cheer'. Pictured (L-R): Edwina Bartholomew, Natalie Barr, Matt Doran and Mark Beretta

Nothing to cheer about? The hosts of Channel Seven’s Sunrise agreed on Wednesday they weren’t sold on Coon cheese being renamed ‘Cheer’. Pictured (L-R): Edwina Bartholomew, Natalie Barr, Matt Doran and Mark Beretta

‘I support the renaming, but not sure about “Cheer”. What do you think? Do you like it?’ co-anchor Matt Doran asked his colleagues.

‘Initially I was like “eh”, but they had to do something,’ newsreader Natalie Barr said.

‘And they were under a lot of pressure with that name,’ she added. ‘I know it was the founder’s name, but they had to do something and they came up with that. So be open minded.’

New name, same slice: Australian cheese brand Coon was officially rebranded as 'Cheer' this week, following years of controversy about the name's historical use as a racist slur

 New name, same slice: Australian cheese brand Coon was officially rebranded as ‘Cheer’ this week, following years of controversy about the name’s historical use as a racist slur

‘The jury’s out!’ said Matt.  

Edwina Bartholomew interjected to say that many Australians can’t agree on how to pronounce the word ‘cheer’.

She noted that ‘cheer’ (meaning ‘thank you’) is widely used in some parts of the country, while it’s more common to say ‘cheers’ in other regions.

‘You say it differently,’ she told Natalie, who hails from Bunbury, Western Australia.  

Dividing the country: Edwina Bartholomew noted that 'cheer' (meaning 'thank you') is widely used in some parts of the country, while it's more common to say 'cheers' in other regions

Dividing the country: Edwina Bartholomew noted that ‘cheer’ (meaning ‘thank you’) is widely used in some parts of the country, while it’s more common to say ‘cheers’ in other regions

Natalie confirmed she does indeed say ‘cheer’, which prompted Matt to say: ‘It sounds like chia pudding!’

Edwina added: ‘You say it with two syllables.’

‘Is it a Western Australian thing?’ Natalia asked, to which Matt replied: ‘I think so.’

Big decision: Speaking to Sunrise later on Wednesday's show, Lino Saputo, the CEO of Coon's Canadian parent company Saputo, said he saw 'no harm' in changing the brand's name

Big decision: Speaking to Sunrise later on Wednesday’s show, Lino Saputo, the CEO of Coon’s Canadian parent company Saputo, said he saw ‘no harm’ in changing the brand’s name

Speaking to Sunrise later on Wednesday’s show, Lino Saputo, the CEO of Coon’s Canadian parent company Saputo, said he saw ‘no harm’ in changing the brand’s name.

‘Coon is a brand that was known and I would say loved by some in Australia,’ Mr Saputo told Natalie. 

‘But it was important for us to understand that name did not please other consumers and created a connotation that was not favourable,’ he explained. 

Rebrand: The decision to rebrand Coon cheese (pictured) follows a long-running campaign by activists who claimed the name had racist connotations

Rebrand: The decision to rebrand Coon cheese (pictured) follows a long-running campaign by activists who claimed the name had racist connotations

‘We decided to embark on this journey to rename that brand and come up with something that we thought would resonate well with all consumers without exclusion.’       

Aboriginal activists, including academic and former diplomat Dr Stephen Hagan, have spent the past two decades lobbying to have the brand name changed as the word ‘coon’ is a slur against people of colour.  

The much-loved dairy product got its original name from American pioneering cheese processor Edward William Coon, who died in 1934.

He patented a ‘ripening process’ that was used to manufacture the original product in the 1920s.  

The rebranded Cheer Cheese will appear on supermarket shelves from July. 

Controversial: Aboriginal activists have spent many years lobbying for Coon cheese to change its name. Pictured are two women in an old ad for Coon cheese

Controversial: Aboriginal activists have spent many years lobbying for Coon cheese to change its name. Pictured are two women in an old ad for Coon cheese

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