}

Dov Charney and Google

UPDATE: Has a Blogger ever fisked himself? Well, I think I just might have to. Why? Because in my rush to be all snarky and ironical, I may have actually been unfair and even (gasp!) innaccurate about Dov Charney. As a testament to my shame, I will leave the original post up and follow up with a self-fisking of unprecedented severity. Please read to the very bottom of this post. My updated comments about Dov Charney will follow (June 27, 2005). I feel I need to do this given the massive number of Web sites that link to this particular post as well as some of the totally off the register things people have been saying in response to Charney’s transparency and honesty about his interests.

Original Post:
Ya know, they say “information is power.” Well, sometimes it’s a curse. When you run a Web site and have access to your log files, and you know what to do with them, you get a wealth of information about your visitors.

My name is ck, and I am an Information junkie.

I run my logs through 2 log analyzers, I look through my referers 3 different ways. I’m a total nutbar that way. There’s no real reason to do it. I just want to know stuff. So what have I learnt recently? I have learnt that way too many people want to know about Dov Charney(founder of American Apparel) and an article that appeared about him in the July issue of Jane magazine. I mentioned the article as a total aside in a post I wrote about the whole coolness and Judaism thing (I tend to digress a lot). Somehow this teeny little mention put Jewlicious near the top of search results on both google (no. 7) and yahoo (no. 1) .

Here’s some basic information. Dov Charney runs a t-shirt company called American Apparel. They wholesale and retail a line of t-shirts that use a finer type of cotton, resulting in a more form fitting and softer product. American Apparel t-shirts are also heavily advertised as being sweat shop free, and in fact American Apparel employees work in comparatively great conditions, getting paid significantly more than minimum wage and other benefits that include free massages, subsidized lunches, english language courses etc. Charney’s t-shirts are favored by many DIY hipster outfits, for instance (amongst the Jews) Jewcy, Jewschool, Jewish Fashion Conspiracy and on and on. All of this was discussed in the Jane Magazine article.

Pretty banal so far, right? Well, why does everyone want to know about this particular article?

Offensive?Well, because Dov Charney likes to masturbate. A lot. In front of women. And female reporters. He also has no problem walking around nude or covered by just a small towel. He also likes taking pictures of his scantily clad models. Oh… and he’s slept with his employees. He’s pretty up front about his peculiar predilections – some of the articles reproduced on the American Apparel Web site reflect his unusual behavior. As far as I know, he’s never forced anyone to do anything they didn’t want to do. In interviews, his employees describe an employer who is somewhat unusual and a little manic but who is passionate about running an ethical AND successful business. Well ethical in so far as he treats his workers. Perhaps not so ethical with regards to potentially sticky sexual harassment situations.

I bought the issue of Jane Magazine in question. Yes, Dov masturbated in front of reporter Claudine Ko. And he did other stuff. Here are the relevant passages, since Jane Magazine is not available on-line (nor has the article been reproduced on the American Apparel Press page):

Offensive?Ko goes out with Charney and an unamed female employee:

I asked him how he relaxed. Oral sex he says, settling into a chair behind a cloud of smoke. “I love it … I am a bit of a dirty guy, but people like that right now.”

Explaining exactly how the rest of the night unraveled is somewhat difficult. Let’s just say, the female employee helped him “put on a show” for me. I watched, trying to be objective, detached – sorta like a … war reporter?

Ko goes to Charney’s pad late one evening for an interview session:

Soon enough he loosens his Pierre Cardin belt.
“Are you going to do it again?” I ask.
“Can I?” he says adjusting himself in his chair.
And thus begins another compulsive episode of what Dov likes to call “self-pleasure,” during which we casually carry on our interview, discussing things like business models, hiring practices and the stupidity of focus groups.
“Masturbation in front of women is underrated,” Dov explains to me later over the phone. “It’s much easier on the woman. She gets to watch, it’s a sensual experience that doesn’t involve a man violating a woman, yet once the man has his release, it’s over and you can talk to the guy.”

Ko claims that in the month she spent with Charney, she watched him pleasure himslef eight or so times. She ends the article by describing how she leaves Charney in New York, interview completed, and hails a cab. “Then as I step into the depths of the backseat, I realize I don’t want this trip to end just yet.”

So there you have it. All you people visiting Jewlicious from New York, LA, Philadelphia, Slovenia (yes, Slovenia) and Morgan Stanley looking to get the skinny on the Jane Magazine article now have it.

Not so offensive?I’ve done business with Charney’s company before (when it was called American Heavy and based out of Montreal and North Carolina) and dealt with his warehouse guy Nimal. He was cool, and I have no complaints. I have an acquaintance in Montreal who worked for Charney and now wishes he were dead, but she tends to be a little melodramatic and wouldn’t give me any dirt. I know there’s been some criticism online and I guess it remains to be seen what effect these stories will have on the company’s bottom line. Bottom line, I have no doubt that his workers love him and that he treats them well. He has many women working for him in management positions and I am pretty sure he can’t be sleeping with them all. If I were his attorney I’d advise him to take it easy though. That having been said, I find it odd that Americans get all wound up about a guy masturbating but have no problem, or pay little attention to the economic injustices that go hand in hand with their consumer oriented society.

As I have noted in the previous blog, props go out to Mireille Silcoff who was actually one of the first to run a story on Charney that discussed his whacky ways. I’ll reproduce it here if anyone asks because it too is unavailable online. Otherwise here are some links that you all can follow that will fill you in on post-Jane Magazine reactions to American Apparel:

Koshi (see the June 5th Blog entry)

Get Underground: Uh… just read it.

brandchannel.com – They seem to like American Apparel, but they definitely do not like Dov Charney

A well balanced New York Times Piece (requires free registration – also available here). See also New York Times Magazine Article titled Conscience Undercover, available here.

Beaver Power! Is badly executed imitation still the sincerest form of flattery?

UPDATE Dov Charney as a Jewlicious Philanthropist: Dov buys laptops for an Arab kid and his partner in Tel Aviv because they won a History of Zionism contest.

NEW San Francisco Chronicle on American Apparel.

Inc. article on Dov Charney

Gladwell’s New Yorker article on Charney

Verve newsletter on Charney.

Dov Charney interview on 20/20.

Ok. I have Dov Charney coming out of my ears now (shutup!). Maspik.

And now it’s time for Dov Charney reconsidered
See, I was reading this article in the July 2005 Details Magazine about the Chairman of the Republican National Committee Ken Mehlman. He was all hyped up about how the Republican Party was going to make inroads into non-traditional Republican sectors, like latinos and youth. Now, its no big secret that I am no Republican – I like my nationalized Canadian Health Care, I like my government subsidized universities and the notion of privatizing social security scares the heck out of me.

I’m not opposed to family values or religion or anything like that – but I do resent hypocrisy and I further resent the notion that if you don’t follow a certain political path you are neccessarily immoral. So as I was reading the article and the RNCs plans, I wondered if perhaps I myself had bought into this whole notion of false puritanism – you know the kind that allows children to interact with violent television and video games but blanches at any mention of sexuality.

Case in point is this post. I wrote the following:

Well, because Dov Charney likes to masturbate. A lot. In front of women. And female reporters. He also has no problem walking around nude or covered by just a small towel. He also likes taking pictures of his scantily clad models. Oh… and he’s slept with his employees.

So Dov Charney likes to masturbate. And some of his fully consensual encounters have involved masturbating in front of a woman. As for the walking around nude part, I should have mentioned that this too is totally normal and he does this in the privacy of his own home (shocker!). As far as the scantily clad models go, I was a bit unfair there too. His models are real women, unretouched by Photoshop and unscarred by plastic surgery or uh… bulimia. Compared to what one sees in Cosmo or any ad by Diesel, Victorias Secret, Agent Provocateur and any number of other fashion houses, Charney’s stuff is tame. Finally with respect to sleeping with his employees, this is where I hang my head in shame the most. I was so quick to judge and yet, when I think about it, pretty much every woman I have had a serious relationship with in the past 8 years is someone I met at work. What a shocker given that I spend almost 90% of my waking hours at work. Like Charney, I am also in an executive position and like Charney, I was always careful that everything I did was consensual. So what’s the big deal?

I also mentioned “female reporters.” All indications are that whatever happenned with Claudine Ko, the reporter who wrote the Jane Magazine article, was isolated and fully consensual. I spoke to Claudine and she haid this to say about Charney:

Whenever I see a picture of Dov I can’t help but smile and think fondly of him. That reporting experience was fun, engaging, stimulating and interesting. Dov Charney is a mad man and I like that.

Sorry, but that doesn’t sound sinister at all. Sounds like some folks had a good time together, a bit more than one usually has doing a story, and that was it. Charney was a bit revealing, maybe too revealing, but dudes – its not like he’s eating children or anything!

He’s pretty up front about his peculiar predilections – some of the articles reproduced on the American Apparel Web site reflect his unusual behavior. As far as I know, he’s never forced anyone to do anything they didn’t want to do. In interviews, his employees describe an employer who is somewhat unusual and a little manic but who is passionate about running an ethical AND successful business. Well ethical in so far as he treats his workers. Perhaps not so ethical with regards to potentially sticky sexual harassment situations.

The big deal I guess is that Charney is up front about how he is. What you see is what you get. Just because the chairman of GM for instance, doesn’t talk about how he wipes his butt or occassionally masturbates, doesn’t mean he doesn’t do it. So those of you who react in horror at Charney, I mean like, where do you work? In a monastery or something? For the Dalai Lama? Why do people feel the need to heap scorn upon a guy for being honest? Like I’ve said before, let he who has never masturbated throw the first stone.

Perhaps some of the criticism is due to Charney’s success. His clothing has this whole no-logo appeal, his choice of models threatens the modeling agency infrastructure (imagine being sexy without being over 6 feet tall and weighing under 105 pounds!) and his success at manufacturing garments in the US makes all those other comapnies who have relocated to the third world look like crap. American Apparel now has 55 stores, they produce a million garments a week and their stuff is unbearably sweet and oh so soft. Success breeds resentment and there seems to be no insignificant amount of resentment going around. And what’s it based on? A CEO being a little frank about his sexuality. No one gives Jean Paul Gaulthier or Dolce and Gabana this kind of hassle. But hey, they’re gay, and so that’s ok?

I dunno. I’m kind of embarassed. I have helped feed into this whole frenzy and it’s just wrong. Charney’s done some damned amazing things. He’s a shit disturber extraordinaire and the finished product is a good one – well paying manufacturing jobs in the US, a great finished product and a thought provoking pattern of activity. His Mom should be proud of him.

Follow me

ck

Publisher at Jewlicious
Founder of Jewlicious? Publisher? Man I hate titles. I coined the name Jewlicious and I slave over the site. I live in Jerusalem and I need to get some breakfast.
Follow me

402 Comments

  1. […] rprisingly, Gawker is very, very popular and today, Gawker saw fit to link to us. I posted a story in August about Dov Charney, President of American Apparel, the company that mak […]

  2. […] times in her presence over the course of two months.” Dedicated Jewlicious readers know this is a well deserved award. I can’t wait for the 101 Dumbest Moustaches A […]

  3. mtlboy

    8/7/2004 at 3:01 pm

    You ought to also look at this puff piece by Maxine Mendelsohn that appeared in Charney’s home town paper, the Montreal Gazette. Looks like her interview with him was done over the phone. Too bad she didn’t go interview him in LA – she seems like his type and perhaps the story would have been a little juicier!

  4. Rachel Goldstein

    8/19/2004 at 6:42 pm

    Oy, you forgot to mention my site, Shoytz.com! American Apparel Jewish-themed t-shirts, like “Shtetl Fabulous”, “Urban Kvetch”, “Mensch”, and more.

  5. ck

    8/19/2004 at 8:29 pm

    You know what’s funny about your site Rachel? You sell a shirt called urban kvetch and there’s a pretty well known blog called urban kvetch. Now… which came first? I wonder…

  6. Rachel Goldstein

    8/24/2004 at 10:09 am

    Here we are in My Urban Kvetch. Heeb Magazine also has a Feature area called Urban Kvetch.

  7. Rachel Goldstein

    8/24/2004 at 10:30 am

    I forgot to mention, the creator of the original Urban Fetch logo, Jean Lee spotted us selling the Urban Kvetch shirts at a street festival in Brooklyn.

  8. eevee

    10/2/2004 at 5:16 pm

    Now that Jewlicious has branched out into t-shirts with Shmatas.com will you too be selling American Apparel product? It looks like American Apparel….

  9. T_M

    11/11/2004 at 1:49 pm

    I think I love this website, CK.

  10. Gawker

    11/23/2004 at 9:32 am

    Dov Charney, Entrepreneur Of Self Love
    From today’s Times profile of American Apparel founder Dov Charney: “I think I was born a hustler,” said Mr. Charney,…

  11. Not your bitch

    12/29/2004 at 8:52 pm

    Man in his Carlsberg years leads youth revolution

    Quote from Charney:

    “Feminism is extremely restrictive. You can’t call a woman a bitch, you can’t call her this, you can’t call her that. But that’s what life’s really like. Yet she can do whatever she wants. It’s out of balance and that’s why young people haven’t embraced feminism, because it’s out of balance.”
    ….
    Charney appreciates the professional contributions of women: “I don’t want to be paraded around like I’m trying to demean women. That’s not my point. I love women. I care for women. They make great contributions to American Apparel.”
    ———

    He loves them? When he’s calling them bitches, right? Oh yeah, feel the love.

  12. Not your bitch

    12/29/2004 at 8:57 pm

    The Young Garmentos

    Quote:

    It was not, as Dov was the first to admit, an ideal location, with the possible exception that it was just two blocks from the Playpen, the neighborhood strip bar, which made it awfully convenient whenever he decided to conduct a fitting. “Big companies tend to hire fitting models at a hundred bucks an hour,” Dov explained recently as he headed over to the Playpen to test some of his new T-shirts. “But they only give you one look. At a strip bar, you get a cross- section of chicks. You’ve got big chicks, little chicks, big-assed chicks, little-assed chicks, chicks with big tits, and chicks with little tits. You couldn’t ask for a better place to fit a shirt.”
    —————————————

    Why doesn’t he go to test American Apparel’s underwear on male models?

    This guy may not be exploiting sweatshop labor, but he sure is sexually exploiting the women who work for him.

  13. Not your bitch

    12/29/2004 at 8:58 pm

    Dov Charney is an:

    ass

  14. ck

    12/29/2004 at 10:04 pm

    I do not know who you are “Not Your Bitch” but I am assuming you’re definitely NOT the President of the LES chapter of the Dov Charney fan club, right?

  15. I Love Everything

    1/8/2005 at 11:31 am

    american apparel-C/d?
    No one has brought up that interview he (the owner, Dov Charney) gave in Jane magazine where he jerked off in front of the interviewer. Seeing as it was ok by her, I can’t see reason to be too upset for some reason. I can’t find the whole article o…

  16. T_M

    1/8/2005 at 2:41 pm

    Actually, we have brought it up, you just haven’t been searching our site carefully enough. 😉

  17. ck

    1/17/2005 at 9:44 pm

    Uh… yikes. OK. Thanks for that searing but heartfelt assessment. I hope Charney’s lawyers don’t call …. cuz I’ll be in Israel! Yay!

  18. ck

    2/23/2005 at 2:58 pm

    I have to say that I cannot believe what legs this story has. I do not know what the fascination with Charney is. We are constantly getting hits, on a daily basis, from people looking for information on him on the Web. This post has been cited on message boards, other blogs, articles etc. Granted Dov Charney has made great strides with American Apparel over the years, the stores and the clothing are very popular. His innovative labor practices with respect to his employees are noteworthy. In an era where the American manufacturing base is rapidly eroding (to say the least) Charney’s accomplishments are remarkable.

    His sexual proclivities however are noteworthy only in their scope and in his candor. Every day, all across North America and the world, male bosses wield sexuality as a weapon against their female subordinates. Is the fascination with Charney due solely to his forthrightness – publicly admitting to and even reveling in something that is otherwise banal due to its commoness – or has he tapped into something else?

    We’re all aware of the notion that bad boys are sometimes considered attractive. Is that what this is? In this era of political correctness is it possible that an element of guilty pleasure is at play here? Above and beyond the reality of having to del with Charney on a daily basis, is the unusual interest in Charney due to the possibility that deep down, women want to be with him and men want to be like him? That’s kind of scary to contemplate.

  19. T_M

    2/23/2005 at 3:36 pm

    I don’t mean this in a disparaging way, agirl, so please don’t be offended that I’m laughing at your distress.

    However, “reading your comment validated my every feeling since the momment i stepped into dov’s office and he handed me a vibrator….” has to be one of the funniest lines in Internet history. I can’t stop laughing.

  20. agirl

    2/23/2005 at 4:05 pm

    people are fascinated by him true but the fact remains if you have any moral integrity you will know this guy is trouble. young women fall victim to him b/c they are impressionable but from an “older” womans prospective he makes you ill from the first moment you interact with him. he is ugly from the inside out do not be fooled by this man.

  21. ck

    2/23/2005 at 4:18 pm

    It’s very unlikely that Dov Charney will ever hand me a vibrator, so I doubt I will have occasion to succumb to his charms. Darn this unfair world.

    😉

  22. angry

    3/7/2005 at 6:15 pm

    Dov Charney is a fool. Not only is he a sexually deviant freak in the work place and everywhere else but he has now resorted to showing the world his homosexual side. What an idiot! I guess he and marketing/pr thought it would be an interesting statement to buy the inside back cover of a current mens gay mag called BUTT MAGAZINE. Obviously, whipping his dick out for his employees isn’t a big enough rush for this sex crazed maniac. The ad is of him sitting in a chair with his penis exposed and smoking a joint. Does he not realize that he is an ugly eyesore. The caption reads, “It’s here. Underwear for Men.” American Apparel. What ever. It would be nice if someone, somewhere would hang him by the balls. He and his supporters will have to answer to someone some day.

  23. T_M

    3/7/2005 at 6:46 pm

    What, homosexuals don’t buy t-shirts? It’s about business…

  24. Jewdith

    3/9/2005 at 3:35 pm

    Charney may pay higher than sweatshop wages, but he’s a hypocritical union buster. Check it out:

    http://www.behindthelabel.org/infocus.asp?id=84

    This man makes jews look bad.

  25. As far as I can tell

    3/23/2005 at 10:43 pm

    American Apparel: Trading sweatshops for sexism
    I first heard of American Apparel when I was started buying wholesale t-shirts to screen print on. I was excited by their politics and more than willing to pay a…

  26. As far as I can tell

    3/23/2005 at 10:45 pm

    American Apparel: Trading sweatshops for sexism
    I first heard of American Apparel when I started buying wholesale t-shirts to screen print on. I was excited by their politics and more than willing to pay a little…

  27. Pingback: Longhorn Law » Blog Archive » Whip it good

  28. Aaron

    6/6/2005 at 1:05 pm

    Q: Is Charney vocal about his religion? I mean, does it ever come up in the press, or mission statements or anything? It’s sad that we’re forced to admit “this guy makes jews look bad,” as Jewdith writes. I’m so sick of taking a communal fall for some shady Yid’s inability to keep the mouse in the house.

  29. Pingback: Citizen of the Month » American Apparel… Hey, Zip Up Your Fly!

  30. downtown darling

    6/11/2005 at 8:57 am

    There are a bunch of articles on him… I live across the street from the Houston st store in NYC where he has a “company apartment” with a ping pong table… some months ago he realised he could just give the employees a digital camera and alcohol, and the results were pretty much the same as terry richardson. Just last week he was seen walking out of a rather dodgey massage spot with two female employees. Whats suprising is, all this attention seems to have had very little impact on his conduct.

  31. madlogic

    6/12/2005 at 7:24 pm

    What is this puritan BS? So the man enjoys his dong. He is also doing a great job of popularizing sweatshop free clothing as cool even for people who aren’t crunchy granola types. Why can’t people work up as much outrage about those who exploit and hurt others economically as we can about some one jizzing. If the chick wasn’t cool with him doing it, do you really think he wouldn’t have responded to a polite request to “put your doodle away?” Grow up people. And/or masterbate more.

    PS. As for the union thing – I think unions may UNFORTUNATELY be the wave of the past. Union’s just no longer have natural leverage in a world where it’s technologically possible to move production anywhere. Hope for the future lies in individual business people deciding to take personal responsibility for how they treat people. that is what Dov has done.

    PPS However, as a lady myself — I would like to see some sexy aa ads with men in it with aa undies barely covering their balls. maybe talk to the Sweet Action girls.

  32. Neil

    6/13/2005 at 10:55 pm

    That’s a very interesting point of view, American Apparel employee… I mean madlogic. I also think if you’re going to pose as a woman, you should get their sexual fantasies right. Sexy abs on men, maybe. But, real women readers, how many of you really want to see ads with men’s “undies barely covering their balls?” Yuch.

  33. ck

    6/14/2005 at 5:02 am

    Neil – the IP address shows that madlogic is from Louisiana, where I don’t believe AA has employees. Just giving you a heads up.

  34. Neil

    6/14/2005 at 11:07 am

    Ok, my apologies. But having been to New Orleans during Mardi Gras, I guess I now better understand the writer’s feeling that it’s OK to walk around with your private parts exposed.

  35. ck

    6/14/2005 at 1:29 pm

    *sigh*
    Dov Charney. Where do I begin? I’ll start backwards and work my way up ok?

    Aaron: Charney is vocal about his religion in private. He’s not particularly religious but he has been to Israel and did a Nahal program (with Michael Steinhardt’s son David Steinhardt).

    Jewdith: The man employs 5,000 people. Not only that but he treats his staff well, pays them well, gives them many awesome fringe benefits and is manufacturing in the US at a time when other Jewish and non-Jewish businessmen are decimating America’s manufacturing sector and setting up overseas to avoid not just unions but also environmental and employment regulations. So he’s opposed to unions. So what? My experience with unions, coming from a family where my dad wore a blue collar and was the shop steward, is still less than stellar. In this day and age, unions are not quite the workers saviors that they used to be and American Apparel is no Wallmart. I think Dov if anything, does us all proud.

    Angry: Well, what Dov did is not quite the usual thing for CEOs but then again most CEOs are boring little MBA fucks. You however, are a homophobic nutbar. Please STFU.

  36. themiddle

    6/14/2005 at 1:48 pm

    5000 people? Impressive.

  37. formerAAgirly

    6/15/2005 at 3:46 pm

    I used to work with Dov at AA….it’s an evil chaotic place but they do pay the warehouse workers much more than the average sewer gets in LA.
    He is a perv, he doesnt hide it, it’s a known fact….he fucks anyone he wants basically. Including the pre-teenish looking models and female employees that strike his fancy…I’m assuming they’re seduced by his “power” cause he aint cute.
    He’s kinda the dorky spazzy Heffner of the tshirt industry. It’s comical if anything…

  38. A'yen

    6/15/2005 at 6:17 pm

    Hey-
    Thanks for posting all this and doing fantastic research. I’ve been linking to your stuff and I appreciate that someone took the time to start this discussion.
    Best,
    A’yen

  39. embryo

    6/17/2005 at 1:48 am

    Hi CK. I am doing research for a wiki entry on AA, and I seem to remember some negative comments about AA that had been here before but have since been removed. One is cited above, from “agirl” ? What happened to it, and could it possibly be restored?

  40. embryo

    6/17/2005 at 1:48 am

    And might there have also been a couple of others?

  41. Pingback: American Apparel Juggernaut Headed for Westwood

  42. barry childers

    6/24/2005 at 5:45 am

    Is he related to ISRAEL Charny (“How we can think the unthinkable?” Westview Press, l982.) If so, Israel must be turning over in his grave! We’ve come a VERY long way in terms of the relevance/importance of what passes for intelligent commentary on world events!!! Can/will we return to some sort of discussion of what is going on that is INTERESTING/INFORMATIVE and last but by no means least, IMPORTANT?!?!?!

  43. deirdre

    6/27/2005 at 7:12 pm

    OK, I’m all for expressing yourself and unashamed sexuality and a unique company culture etc. etc. but the 6/27/05 edition of Business Week includes an article (which I didn’t see mentioned above) about a sexual harassment lawsuit filed by three female former employees. Once his wacky corporate culture gives rise (ha ha) to lawsuits filed by women who felt a hostile work environment, it’s no longer cool. His employees are almost all low- or moderate-income (paying twice the minimum wage is GREAT but it doesn’t make people rich). Other manufacturing jobs in LA almost certainly pay less (it’s not as easy to leave a particularly well-paid job, is it??). Don’t tell me that he and his workers have equal power in the workplace! Neither what he did with the Jane reporter nor his ads bother me at all. But how he treats his employees REALLY bugs me.

  44. ck

    6/27/2005 at 8:19 pm

    Uh… I know it’s a civil lawsuit, but even then do we not have a presumption of innocence? Let’s just see how those trials pan out, no? And is one really supposed to get rich at a factory job? But once one HAS to work at a factory Job, getting paid double minimum wage, getting free transportation to work, free english lessons, free massages at work etc. etc. is pretty good. I mean, where do you get your coffee? Have you eaten at a diner recently? Have you purchased any products made in China? Shopped at WalMart?

    I am going to reserve judgement on Charney and his whacky ways, but you know America, it’s a very litigious society. Maybe those women have a case, maybe not – I’ll wait and see. But all indications are that Charney does not coerce people into having sex with him. I guess we’ll find out eventually.

  45. Jeff

    6/29/2005 at 7:56 am

    Uh… I know it’s a civil lawsuit, but even then do we not have a presumption of innocence?

    No. The standard is preponderance of evidence. There’s no presumption of innocence or of guilt.

    As for the suit, it really doesn’t matter if all the employees who have sex with him do it voluntarily – those employees are not the only ones harassed by this behavior.

  46. ck

    6/29/2005 at 11:41 am

    Nice response Jeff. You are correct. And since we have yet to see any evidence, there’s really no point pointing out the existence of an upcoming civil trial evidence of anything. I’m willing to wait and see what happens before I go crucifying some dude whose only sin, that i know of, is that he’s too frank and honest.

  47. d

    6/29/2005 at 9:33 pm

    “So those of you who react in horror at Charney, I mean like, where do you work?”
    I work for the EEOC, and if the behavior mentioned above (some of which it sounds like he admits to doing) is true, it’s a problem–and a violation of the law. The problem with allowing sexual stuff to go on in a workplace is that those who are bothered by it don’t feel comfortable speaking up because it doesn’t seem like anyone else minds it. And the “serious relationship” you might have with someone you work with is very different than a manager masturbating in front of female employees (who happen to be his subordinates) who may not object (even if it’s unwelcome) because of the power imbalance. After all, if he’s the founder and senior partner for the company, who can you complain to?
    Up until today, I was a big fan of American Apparel. Now it kind of disgusts me.

  48. ck

    6/29/2005 at 10:57 pm

    Yo “d” is this you? If it is you’re pretty talented!

    Also, where was it that I or anyone reported that Charney or a manager at AA masturbated in front of employees at work? Cuz that’s definitely a new one.

  49. d

    6/30/2005 at 6:45 am

    The behavior doesn’t have to occur at work as long as there is an employer-employee relationship. And he is without a doubt in a management position. But you’re right–the passage above seems to refer to oral sex with an employee. Which is worse?

  50. ck

    6/30/2005 at 7:39 am

    Well, based on phone calls I’ve had with Claudine Ko, the writer of the infamous article, the employee in question had a pre-existing relationship with Charney. Granted, what ensued was a tad kinkier most people are used to, and I question the wisdom of engaging in such activities in front of a reporter, there is simply no evidence at all, none, that there was any kind of coercion in any of the activities. To read some otherwise well meaning discussions on other blogs about all this, you would think that all women are vulnerable, weak minded idiots, easily manipulated into engaging in tasteless activities against their will. I mean seriously! What’s with the witch hunt here? It boggles the mind, really it does.

  51. zeke

    7/2/2005 at 1:20 pm

    Wow, this is great news! I can jerk off in front of employees all I want as long as I pay them well.
    That’s graet to know.

    Seriously, if this guy was the standard CEO old fart and he did the shit they say he did, everyone would be on his case but he does pay more than minimum salary so that must make him a saint.

    Were gonna have to send Triumph the Insult dog after the Dov apoligists just like he went after the Jacko fans.

  52. Helen

    7/3/2005 at 4:19 am

    Finally people are starting to make sense. Thanks ck.
    I have spent some time looking into all of this hysteria only to find a bunch outlandish stories that make it seem that at the American Apparel factory, Charney spends his time walking down the halls jerking off with one hand and signing paychecks with the other. I know people who have worked for American Apparel and really enjoyed their time there, dealt with Charney every now and again and never was touched by anything besides his infectious energy about the company.
    Why don’t we spend time focusing on actual issues (poverty, aids, global warming, etc.) and not some dudes sex life that make our sex lives look a G-Rated version of the wonder years.

  53. formeremployee

    7/5/2005 at 5:38 am

    Helen,
    “Why don’t we spend time focusing on actual issues (poverty, aids, global warming, etc.) and not some dudes sex life that make our sex lives look a G-Rated version of the wonder years.”

    So I take it as a woman you don’t find sexual harassment and exploitation an “actual issue”? Interesting.

    You know people who have worked at American Apparel? Well, now you know me too, only I haven’t experience his “infectious energy about the company.” I did have a friend and former manager he continued to call a “faggot” until he quit. And another he fired because he had to go home to pay his last respects to a relative. And I don’t want to forget my co-workers he sexually propositioned and all the others he made lewd comments about. And my co-worker who got a lesson from Dov on how to be sexier—what to wear, how to pluck her eyebrows. And the times he’s walked into stores in his underwear, or in see-through clothing, or exposed himself. And the times he’s fired entire stores with no explanation. There was the manager and my friend he made do his dirty work and fire one of those stores, and when he saw her cry, he fired her too. And the illegal employees I saw work in my store—people who worked off the books and were not properly compensated. And the people forced to work over-time, and those who couldn’t because of school who were then fired. There were the unbelievable employees with spotless records who were fired because he didn’t like the way they looked. There were the female employees he took poloroids of and then asked for their home phone numbers. And all the people he’s intimidated and belittled with insults and threats—people like me. And his requests for young girls to sleep with. And the invitations to the corporate apartment. There was the time Dov commented on a female shopper by saying he could only think about “draping her p—- all over my bed”? Don’t forget the factory workers who he isolated and interrogated and threatened to deport if they attempted to join a union.

    I wonder how he would explain published quotes such as: “Feminism is extremely restrictive. You can’t call a woman a bitch, you can’t call her this, you can’t call her that.” Or: “Women initiate most domestic violence.”

    It’s strange that a woman such as yourself has such an intense interest in stopping other women from standing up against Dov Charney and the sexual harassment they’ve endured. I can’t say I’ve seen anything like that before.

  54. UnAmerican Apparel

    7/5/2005 at 5:48 am

    Myself and other former American Apparel employees are speaking out. There’s way too much information to fit in here, so for anyone on MySpace, when you get the chance please check out our profile “UnAmerican Apparel.” We have a lot of links to news stories, details on the sexual harassment cases, as well as a beautiful resignation letter from a former manager. Thanks.

  55. formeremployee

    7/5/2005 at 5:56 am

    Helen,
    “Why don’t we spend time focusing on actual issues (poverty, aids, global warming, etc.) and not some dudes sex life that make our sex lives look a G-Rated version of the wonder years.”

    So I take it as a woman you don’t find sexual harassment and exploitation an “actual issue”? Interesting.

  56. Pingback: Adventures in Charney Land

  57. currentemployee

    7/7/2005 at 8:06 pm

    I wish our dear former employee would stand behind the post and the long list of slander and disclose his/her actual name. I am a current employee of American Apparel and I happened to be in the store where everything that is so falsely described here went down.
    Jeremy Cunningham, the employee in question was not fired because he “had to go home to pay his last respects to a relative.” Nobody at American Apparel would ever be fired for that. Dov is always understanding of all hard-working employees’ personal issues.
    The reason that Jeremy was fired was because he was a terrible store manager. He managed the store downstairs from Dov’s apartment, which gave him opportunity to deliver and make himself noticed while Dov was in town. Instead, he always came in looking distressed and with zero energy. If the leader of the store always looks like he has all the problems of the world resting on his shoulders how do you expect the sales people, who follow his example, to be enthusiastic about their job? Maybe he needed a dose of “Dov’s infectious energy.” Instead of making sure everything on the floor was running smoothly he would hide in the office all day. I realize there are many administrative tasks to be taken care of, but considering that at the time the store had more managers than sales people, I find it hard to believe that he was that swamped with office work. On the nights when people from in and out of town were staying at the store (sometimes as late as next morning) fixing the mess it had become, Jeremy who of all people should have been there, was always the first one out.
    He was annoyed when hard working employees would stay past their scheduled times to finish projects. However, instead of speaking with them he would unprofessionally mumble under his breath and call them over-achievers to other employees. Perhaps he was angry because their “over-achieving” made his own laziness more apparent?
    Jeremy was a lazy loser which is why he got fired. It really is awful that he lost a relative, but to flaunt around his sad violin story to gather some sympathy and make Dov look like a tyrant boss, is pathetic and seems very in character.
    Would you be so outraged if you were told to take out a piercing when applying for a job at a boutique in SoHo? Or having to ditch your every day clothes for a uniform at another company? Probably not. Business involves some theatrics. All companies have an image. American Apparel’s happens to be one of natural sexiness, so obviously the owner of the company expects his floor staff to exude that. If that involves not plucking your eyebrows into a pen line, is it really so absurd?
    He photographed and asked employees for their home phone numbers?! You’re joking me! That’s insane! Not only is an employee’s phone number a piece of information that is very accessible to the CEO of the company, but also, from my experience most store employees would LOVE to be asked to model, and that is the only reason for which I can see Dov asking them for their digits on a Polaroid.
    He made Margaret Berry fire the employees at the store because she was a manager. When was the last time you heard of a big company’s CEO doing the actual hiring and firing? It wasn’t his dirty work it was her job, albeit an unpleasant one, but still. And she was another negative, passive-aggressive lager with bad attitude. When I began working at the store after being an AA model the year before, she was condescending, unwelcoming and not at all helpful. She assumed that my previous involvement with the company meant that she couldn’t talk to me as a manager, when all I needed was some direction and for someone to show me the ropes. She was constantly bitching about her headaches, not feeling well, late hours and pretty much everything else. Give me a fucking break. She was unhappy and unlucky which is why she was given the boot.
    “Everyone” in the store wasn’t fired, a few good kids quit, and a few people from the old days are still here today, in higher positions and the store is doing better than it has done since it opened.
    There is also a long list of people who would be more than happy to discredit the sob stories of the disgruntled ex-employees who just can’t face the fact that they sucked and weren’t right for the store.
    No factory workers have been intimidated when trying to join a union. In fact, workers protested when union organizers made an appearance at the factory. And you never hear anyone from the factory complaining about this either, it’s always ungrateful, PC, upper class kids who for some reason are more concerned than the factory workers themselves. What garment workers get paid $13, have free transportation, health benefits and an array of unnecessary but great perks like free ESL lessons and massages during breaks. Dov has changed the lives of many people and I hate it how some overlook many of the great thing’s he has done for people and instead choose to concentrate on his sex life, which is irrelevant.
    Any of you who care enough to do your research will find out that the women suing Dov were never involved with him, he never made any physical passes at them or sexually propositioned them. He is being sued for using “lewd language” in their presence, which if you ask me is total bullshit. Do you really believe that in this day and age the word “pussy” is going to cause someone psychological damage? Please. It’s just another gold digger jumping at the opportunity to use Dov’s reputation to make a few bucks.
    The quote about feminism is taken completely out of context. Dov doesn’t hate women, or feminists for that matter. Strong, intelligent and beautiful women are the backbone of American Apparel, without them Dov’s company wouldn’t be what it is today. And anyone who thinks that a she-hater chauvinist who disrespects and humiliates women left and right would trust them with his multi-million dollar business, makes no sense.
    It is the narrow minded, backwards sexist, Andrea Dworkin following feminists that Dov has spoken out about, and if you ask me- a woman and pro-sex feminist- those women completely missed the whole point of the feminist movement and are actually more in the way of female sexual liberation than most men have ever been.
    UnAmericanApparel is more like “bitter, disgruntled ex-employees of American Apparel unite!”
    I’m just so tired of people from the sides always talking about how the models are exploited, (comment 11) how the girls in the stores are exploited. I can guarantee you that if you ask any of the girls in the ads- the only people who can actually answer that question- about their experience, you won’t hear a horror story. If the women pictured had a good time, were not uncomfortable and had a positive and fun experience, who are you to keep telling the world otherwise?!
    For comment 43, you may not believe that there is equality in the workforce and to some extent that is true and has to be that way, BUT I have spent late nights in the store doing things like folding t-shirts or cleaning up with Dov and I am sure that you cannot name another company of American Apparel’s stature where a thing like that would happen.
    Last but not least, comment 51, you’re missing a crucial point. It may not be ok to jerk off in front of an employee just because you pay her a little more than the next company. It is however ok to jerk off in front of her if she’s ok with it, and while you’re at it if you happen to pay her more too, then great!
    Everyone has their panties in a bunch over nothing. Dov may be a little more eccentric than your average guy but he’s really not doing anything that out of the ordinary, he just happens to be a little more in-your-face about it. He has no shame in his game and that’s what’s gotten people so goddamn excited.
    American Apparel is an amazing company and the good things that Dov has done for his workers and in the apparel industry far out-weigh the few mistakes he’s made. Unfortunately the haters are always louder than the fans.
    I love my job and I can assure you that far more people are having my experience than the one of the employees at UnAmericanApparel.
    The haters at UnAmericanApparel are putting in lots of time and effort, if only they would have tried half as hard when they were still at American Apparel maybe things would have turned out differently for them.
    The point of this rebuttal is to clear up any false charges made against American Apparel and Dov. I tried keeping my argument free of misquoted phrases, subjective opinion, and regurgitated crap.
    I would like to thank those of who used your time and energy to discuss this topic.
    Yours truly,
    Sona
    American Apparel classic girl and current employee

  58. themiddle

    7/7/2005 at 8:39 pm

    Well, that was brave.

  59. trevorD

    7/7/2005 at 11:01 pm

    Eeek…creepy.

  60. mercedesporscheoverdrive

    7/8/2005 at 12:27 am

    Um. So does he tip, this Don? Is he into table dances? Does he offer stripper discounts? This is the SLOW season in adult entertainment, ya know.

  61. No

    7/8/2005 at 6:36 am

    Sona…are you the “classic girl” in the American Apparel photo gallery with Dov? The one in bed with him? The one that Dov told an employee at the now closed Waverly store that he was fucking? I think if you are a low-level sales associate making 10 bucks an hour and fucking the CEO, your opinion of American Apparel and it’s labor violations are a little skewed. How much money did you get to write that post? Were you as coked-up as you were the other day when you were writing it? It’s unbelievable that you are even capable of stringing together a coherent sentence…Sona Gevorkian. Your concern about the slander of Dov is an interesting one and will be proven in the courts since Gloria Allred is suing him for the sexual harassment of two women in Los Angeles. Gloria Allred, renowned attorney, not a Russian crack-whore who needs to fuck skanky CEO’s to pay the rent. How about this for slander…you…Sona Gevorkian are a drug-addicted prostitute.

  62. Paul

    7/8/2005 at 9:24 am

    Ha! I just checked out the photo gallery on the american apparel site. I clicked on “Sona,” and there are all these pictures of her in bed with Dov!

    http://www.americanapparel.net/gallery/photocollections/models/index.html

  63. currentemployee

    7/8/2005 at 10:23 am

    Wow, I see the truth gets to you, huh? Though clueless and false, your arguments were at least semi-inteligent earlier. Now you’re just an emotional mess… guess I pressed the right buttons.
    And yet still no facts. I’m not Russian, I’m Armenian. I don’t do coke, I only smoke PCP, but just on the weekends so don’t hold it against me. And I don’t fuck skanky CEO’s to pay the rent, I work my ass off for it, around the clock. So if you ever want to come talk to me you know my name and where to find me.
    It’s funny when adult arguments turn into juvenile rock throwing. Hopefully your next post will have more than hearsay bullshit but I wouldn’t bet on it or anything.
    keep it jiggy

  64. an onlooker

    7/8/2005 at 12:13 pm

    Just for the information of the viewers:
    1. Gloria Allred is not an active attorney on any of the pending cases involving Dov Charney or American Apparel.
    2. Remember, everything on this site is personal opinion. So like the “Russian crack-whore” and the nameless name-caller, all are bias.
    3. Also, nameless namecaller responsible for post 61, I think it is dangerous to begin discrediting peoples opinions based on there profession. Like the American Apparel ex-employees, crackheads have feelings to.

  65. No

    7/8/2005 at 12:18 pm

    Dear Moscow-born, Aremenian Sona,
    We have all seen how hard you have worked your ass off for it. Keep up the good work. Didn’t Dov convince you to quit college to be his full-time whore? And isn’t that why you are estranged from your Aremenian parents living in Moscow? Or is that also hearsay? And isn’t your visa about to expire? Will you soon be working illegally in America for American Apparel or will you go back to Moscow? Maybe hide away in Dov’s native Toronto? Let me sum this up…you are an uneducated, illegal immigrant, who sells ass for money, working for American Apparel. Hearsay or not?

  66. themiddle

    7/8/2005 at 12:41 pm

    That’s a nice advantage you have attacking somebody anonymously. You wouldn’t happen to be the former employee who was called lazy?

  67. No

    7/8/2005 at 12:45 pm

    Actually, I have never worked for American Apparel.
    Info on LA lawsuits is listed below. A WWD article stated that Gloria Allred is the attorney for the women suing Dov Charney. Look it up for yourself.

    Gloria Allred is representing Heather Pithie and Rebecca Brinegar
    info on Gloria Allred:web site gloriaallred.com
    Allred Maroko & Goldberg 6300 Wilshire Blvd, Suite 1500 LA, CA 90048
    323 653-6530
    FAX 323 653-1660

    Keith A. Fink is representing Mary Nelson
    info on Keith A. Fink: Keith A. Fink Associates
    11500 W. Olympic Blvd.
    Los Angeles, CA 90064
    310 26800781

  68. themiddle

    7/8/2005 at 12:51 pm

    I’m not talking about the lawsuits. They will play themselves out and it’s not uncommon for lawyers to take on cases against companies with deep pockets – who are they going to sue, poor people?

    Sona posted under her own name and you didn’t. I don’t believe you’re not a former employee, although I concede you might be the person sleeping with a former employee. However, just as she showed courage and faith in her convictions about the people she lists – under her own name – in her post, you show cowardice and lack of conviction by attacking her anonymously. Frankly, it seems like exactly what she claims: sour grapes.

  69. ck

    7/8/2005 at 1:09 pm

    Gloria Allred? “renowned attorney?” Heh. Is that meant to be a good thing? Allred, nee Bloom, is a renowned publicity hound. I mean, seriously, she’s ridiculous.

  70. Alixandra

    7/8/2005 at 1:11 pm

    NAMELESS:
    The hearsay that you are using in an open forum is irresponsible. I feel that it may be necessary to give you a little background check.
    Facts: Sona was born in Armenia. She has lived in Queens with her parents since she was eleven (i.e. she is not an “illegal immigrant.”) She goes to school for forensics(i.e. “uneducated”?)And she is a full time manager (i.e. “full-time whore”? It was a fashion shoot using sexual innuendo to sell product. Find me a clothing company that doesn’t use the same tactic and you will be my new personal hero.)
    Your fiction is creepy. But using the internet to withold who you are, way creepier.
    Love,
    Alix

  71. ck

    7/8/2005 at 3:18 pm

    Alix: I wouldn’t say No’s allegations are irresponsible – I mean its the Internet after all. But in the No vs. Sona slugfest, Sona has identified herself and laid the cards on the table. That makes her accountable and demonstrates an admirable measure of cojones and class. As far as no goes, he/she wrote “Aremenian” instead of Armenian, has already made factual errors and frankly – I don’t like your tone. You kiss yo Mama with that mouth?

    I score this round for Sona.

  72. Vertically Integrated Culturejamming

    7/8/2005 at 3:21 pm

    It should be possible for liberals to critique American Apparel without being labelled anti-sex or being lumped in with the puritans and Andrea Dworkins of the world. As a leftist, a feminist and a consumer of porn, I’ll attempt to explain my problems with American Apparel.

    LABOR PRACTICES

    There *is* a sweatshop at American Apparel. It’s just not in the factory. It’s in the retail stores! This is a rather brilliant move on Dov’s part. Workers in his factories get treated very well, and it’s entirely possible that they themselves resisted a union (though historically companies use every trick in the book to coerce their workers NOT to unionize.) It’s brilliant, because when CNN or some other news outfit does a profile on AA, it’s the production end of the business they’re scrutinizing, *NOT* the treatment of the retail staff. Factory workers typically have families to support, both in the US and in their home countries. They’re less likely to have a social safety net. Dov has wisely chosen to treat these people well and gets PR mileage out of doing so.

    It’s the mostly white, middle class kids who sell his wares that are getting the shaft! Generally these are folks who are still working their way through school. I imagine that many of them still get support from their parents, or carry other jobs. From all the anecdotal evidence, *these* are the workers that AA exploits. Complaints about people being hired illegally. Complaints about long overtime without pay. Being asked to go “the extra mile.” Being required to dress sexy. Submitting photos as a condition of employment. These are all exploitative labor practices. And they’re all happening in the company’s retail operations.

    CORPORATE CULTURE

    Dov has rather shrewdly built a hip, progressive image for the company, which makes the job desirable. Perhaps his retail workers, many of whom are young, inexperienced, and no doubt unschooled in labor politics, find the idea of working for the company cool. Some of these women, by Dov’s own admission, end up sleeping with him. When you combine political idealism with a sexually-charged workplace, you’re creating a cult-like environment. No wonder so many firings and store closings end in rancor. It must be hard to go from “true believer” to disillusioned ex-employee overnight. I imagine that many of Dov’s defenders cling to their beliefs because noone wants to believe that they’ve been duped, or worse…quite literally and metaphorically fucked.

    ADVERTISING

    And this brings me to my problem with AA’s advertising. Yes, the women all signed releases. Yes, they all agreed to be in the ads. Yes, everyone uses sex to sell products. But that doesn’t mean we can’t criticize what’s being fed to us! Doesn’t it strike anyone else as a bit unseemly to mix progressive political rhetoric with kiddie porn aesthetics?

    And why can’t we scrutinize Dov Charney’s sex life? His ads practically scream: “I just fucked this girl!” or “I am about to put my dick in this girl’s mouth!” The ads are confrontational. They invite us into Charney’s sex life. And certainly his remarks about feminism, sex harassment and domestic violence all seem to suggest a very retro sexist attitude toward women. Not exactly the “pro-sex” feminism that some would like us to find in the company’s image. It’s one thing to dress up a skinny young woman to look like a little girl and then take a grainy Terry Richardson-esque photo of her panties clinging to her camel toe. Quite another to bracket that photo with text proclaiming “American Apparel is capitalism working” or “Taking on the system one t-shirt at a time.”

    This is very crass marketing. It’s an attempt to sell us our leftist politics as a lifestyle choice. The message is the same old postmodern con job. They’re an “anti-brand” brand. How meaningless is that? Ever wonder what that “TM” in the corner of their logo means? It means they’re a brand. American Apparel’s advertising is designed to jam our political radar. It’s brilliant, really. But people should look beyond the “Is it porn?” debate. Yes, it’s porn. But it’s the worst kind of porn. It’s not an honest depiction of sexuality. Instead we’ve got images of exploitation (of actual retail staff) juxtaposed with text proudly proclaiming that the company doesn’t exploit its workers. What a mindfuck!

    Bottom line: American Apparel’s sweatshops are his retail stores. His exploited workers are the retail staff who, whether they realize it or not, are essentially signing up for “Girls Gone Wild” Vice Magazine style.

  73. Not Your Bitch

    7/8/2005 at 3:33 pm

    Living On The Edge At American Apparel

    excerpts:

    “In May, he was sued by three women — all former American Apparel employees — who claim they were sexually harassed by him at work.” …

    “In their sexual harassment suits, two of the women accuse Charney of exposing himself to them. One claims he invited her to masturbate with him and that he ran business meetings at his Los Angeles home wearing close to nothing. Another says he asked her to hire young women with whom he could have sex, Asians preferred. All describe him using foul language in their presence, much of it demeaning to women.” …

    “…BusinessWeek spoke with seven former workers who say they were offended by what they called a highly sexual atmosphere at American Apparel. They told stories of senior managers who pursued sexual relationships with less senior colleagues and rewarded their favorites with promotions, company cars, and apartments. ‘It was a company built on lechery,’ says a former stock person. ‘I thought it was a male contemporary perspective on feminism, but it turns out to be just a gimmick,’ says another ex-employee. And another: ‘I made sure to stay away from the store when I knew [Charney] was coming into town. It’s not one person — he’s aiming for all women.'”

    More from the same article:

    “The stores’ white walls are dotted with product shots. …In case shoppers miss the message that American Apparel’s clothes are sexy, Charney sometimes pins up pages from 1970s Penthouse magazines.”

    Hello?! That alone should qualify for creating a hostile work environment. As should this:

    “Charney takes many of the photos himself, often using company employees as models as well as people he finds on the street. ‘Meet Melissa,’ reads one print ad, which pictures a comely brunette in a shower and a see-through shirt. ‘She won an unofficial wet T-shirt contest held at the American Apparel apartment in Montreal.’ (The company maintains a string of apartments in the U.S. and Canada to save money on hotel rooms.)”

    Are they running a business or an escort service for Dov Charney? And what, no wet underwear contests with his male employees? (insert eyes rolling in head)

  74. Not Your Bitch

    7/8/2005 at 3:51 pm

    American Apparel All Sweaty

    excerpt:

    “And while AA does pay above average garment industry wages, it is essentially claiming something that could be said by almost any other clothing brand legitimately made in a developed nation. In fact, during AA’s infancy, ‘sweatshop free’ was never part of the brand’s promise. Then, AA press releases started carrying the subheading ‘Los Angeles Based Sweatshop Free T-Shirt And Apparel Company….’ It was a great sleight of hand and the media bought it hook, line and sinker.

    AA is fully aware that its sweatshop-free course is a zero-sum game in which it has no brand ownership (i.e., if all brands suddenly stopped using sweatshop labor, AA’s image would become irrelevant). Distancing itself from its sweatshop-free claims (no 2004 press releases have the above subheading), AA’s founder Dov Charney recently said, ‘I think [being sweatshop-free] is a secondary appeal and I’m getting a little bored with it myself. I’m de-emphasizing it’ (Los Angeles Business Journal, May 2004).

    The best part of AA’s socially responsible image is that it is really just a big red herring when it comes to the brand’s success. There are numerous clothing brands that identify themselves exclusively as sweatshop free or some such thing. Two notable ones are SweatX and No Sweat, neither of which boasts anything near AA’s success. (The SweatX online store was closed ‘temporarily’ at publication time.) It would be surprising to learn that even 25 percent of AA customers know about any sweatshop free stance. (In an non-scientific survey of acquaintances who own AA stuff, only one did.) So besides making a quality product (which many, many marginally successful brands also do) why is AA so popular?

    To look at an American Apparel catalog or ad is to look at the closest thing there is to amateur porn without it actually being amateur porn (though it may qualify as fetish photography and certainly flirts with being lecherously barely-legal). If Victoria’s Secret is the closest the apparel industry has to mainstream, overproduced, surgically-enhanced porn, then American Apparel is its raw, posed-to-not-look-posed, seemingly inexperienced but no-less-erotic amateur cousin. With emphasis on the prurience of voyeuristic reality, AA ads feature ‘real women’— sometimes in bathtubs or beds — but always in intimate conduct.”

  75. christina cash money zuleta

    7/8/2005 at 4:49 pm

    SONA YOU ARE THE BUS DRIVER!!!! its kinda funny how this turned into a person attact against someone who is fuckin awesome, smart and hard working. NAMELESS=CLASSIC INTERNET FAG MOVE>>> WHAT?? ARE WE ON A GRAF SITE OR SOMETHING HAHAHA. You would all like to think that sona fucked Dov for her job, go ahead, it sounds so juicy i love it!!! Your lives are so boring that you have to talk shit about someone you dont know but I guess I would be doing the same thing if I got fired didnt have a job. haha anyway you guys are a bunch of haters that got fired because you sucked. I was a wintness you their lack of moral and company pride. these people are suppose to be leading and setting an example for the rest of the employee but how can they do such when they are traders and wasting their own time working for someone they dont respect the man they work for. So what if Dov went to the store in his underwear one morning, i mean he lives right above it and its his store he can do whatever the fuck he wants to. If you dont like your job then find another one you fuckin babies. No one forced you to work for a man you dont agree with or makes you feel weird. The people that were fired didnt have what it takes to work for and reprecent American Apparel AKA super fucking up tight. I recently went to the factory in downtown and it was fuckin amazing.Whoever wrote that comment about the factory worker being treatened by Dov if the joined union is totally misinformed. The workers didnt want to join union because it is pointless for them to pay a union fee every year when they already get full med and dental for free from american apparel. idiot. Dov rules and You kinda have to be a crazy guy to be in charge of so much. take it or leave it man.

  76. client

    7/8/2005 at 4:58 pm

    I guess I missed something. What is so Jewish about this story that it made to Jewlicious.
    You know what, where is that guy that claimed earlier this week today that Jews (oh, Gary H) dont look outward trying to improve social justice etc. Here is one for you Gary – read this post!
    Next time you deceide not to give money to Jewish causes dont blame it on Jewlicious!

  77. Another former employee

    7/8/2005 at 8:30 pm

    Hahahaha. I love it that only the people that are defending Dov, Christina and Sona, are the ones that have most likely slept with Dov. I don’t blame them for defending Dov. It’s understandable that Dov can seem pretty appealing to a young person when he’s offering you more money than you could ever make working retail anywhere else. The majority of AA employees are going to high school, college, or it’s their part time job and if you’re a pretty girl, you’re going to make a lot of money for doing retail. I mean, I believe/hope that these girls are going to regret the compromises they’ve made once they grow up a little, but for now, they’re doing what’s right for them. Gots to pay the bills. I don’t have any animosity towards Sona or Christina, even though I know them, I just have a problem with AA. I was with the company for quite awhile and have seen a lot of F’d up things happen in my time. Things that range from Dov getting the Mexicans in LA to protest the union when the Mexicans didn’t even know what they were protesting against to seeing Dov all coked up and calling people fogots. If the Mexican shirt makers really didn’t want a union, that’s one thing, but to hand someone a sign and protest something they have no clue about is another. You can defend AA all you want but when store walkouts aren’t uncommon, you have to believe something is up. The only reason that I’m keeping my name anonymous is that Dov is insane and I mean that literally. The man is crazy and I’m sure that if he ever finds out who’s posting this stuff, he’s going to try and make heir lives horrible. If you think I’m making this up, then you either haven’t worked for the company, don’t know Dov, or are sleeping with Dov.

  78. ck

    7/8/2005 at 9:28 pm

    AFE: As a former employee your objectivity is questionable as well, you know that right? Especially since you’re anonymous. But whatever, it’s all god – we’ll just put everything in the mixer and see what rises, eh?

    christina: just for the sake of accuracy, all AA staff have access to health insurance. They may, if they choose, pay $8 a week for health and dental – a pretty good deal which some, for some odd reason, do not take. Given that fact however, it’s no surprise that the workers would also choose not to unionize and pay union dues for a very intangible benefit – well a lot less tangible than health care, especially given that they are well paid and well treated compared to others in the industry.

    Just sayin’

    client: why is this in Jewlicious? Cuz Charney’s a Jew and he’s in the public eye. His uncle is also Moshe Safdie, world famous architect and the dude who, along with former Mayor of Jerusalem Teddy Kollek, did a lot of the urban planning of Jerusalem.

  79. formeremployee

    7/8/2005 at 11:15 pm

    I just wanted to second that comment about Dov being crazy and THAT’S why we don’t all put our names here. I worked for AA, some other people on here worked for AA, and I know the non-AA worker on here going by “No.” If this were just about anything else, I’d slap my name on here in big bold capital letters, but if I did that here, Dov would probably show up at my front door the next day—why else would we be getting all this pressure to give our names? Here’s my name: Steven Johnson. What’s the difference to everyone else on this blog? Nothing. But it matters to those who intend on doing something (who knows what) when they find out exactly who is spilling the beans. Eh, I think I’ll just deal with the criticism of staying anonymous.

    Besides, once Gloria Allred gets done with Dov Charney, none of this arguing back and forth will be needed…he’ll be fuckin’ toast.

  80. third party

    7/9/2005 at 12:57 am

    I think it’s interesting that most everyone in this case defending the guy has come forward with a name. Those criticizing AA and Charney aren’t.

  81. A current Employee And the Revolutions

    7/9/2005 at 3:22 pm

    To the american public:
    lets settle down and just speak the truth.
    I too can mention names and events and i still work there. I hate the company, its politics from day one. I decided to work for them to really for sure get my assurance that what they stand for is bullshit. Hasnt anyone noticed that on their adds they nolonger write “sweatshop free” hasnt anyone noticed it says now “vertically intergrated” well isnt funny how with in the past months a new factory has opened in Mexico (oh but Dov says only 30% of the garments are made there so really its still made in Downtown LA) why dont we ever hear about this factory in Mexico? and what the fuck is vertically intergrated…..
    “American Apparel is a vertically integrated manufacturer, distributor and retailer of T-shirts and related products. All of our garments are cut and sewn at our 800,000-square-foot facility in downtown Los Angeles.” take a look for your self on their own web page.

    People seem to look and be in awe at how he keeps his factory workers…why isnt anyone mentioning that its one english teacher for thousands of workers..

    also forget about the factory workers for second..why isnt his mission about the conjoined treatment of both factory workers and his workers in the stores, floor sales and stock people..the people who day for day needs to wear the uniform of AA clothing, and work for less than the factory workers get, and when a chance to make an extra buck arises (since we arent on commission)why dont we see it in our pay checks…where is the fairness WITHIN the store…why do people forget us.. yes we didnt make the clothing but we have to sell the clothing , we have to dress and put on this image and represent the company, all for what the fear that we might be fired because we arent sexy enough. I mean i dont see girls at Victoria Secrets wearing underwear in order to sell…

    Sex does sell but lets leave that to the advertising. Why must i feel that i need to look like those models on our walls in order to keep my job? Why should an owner of the company even have to ask you name and number (isnt that what the middle man is for anyway?)

    I have never heard of a company hiring with out looking at a resume. Yes i understand that people who work at McD’s (not to smash people who work there) but yes im sure they wont be getting a job at Chanel, becuase there is an image a company looks for but also experenice that is taking into account when someone is hired.

    I have met a woman in my store once that was a model during a convention in Las Vegas. She claims that when she was hired for 50 dollars and hour she didnt expect that things that Dov wanted from her. She didnt see to happy about that expereince, and im sure if you ask others..uh who this Lauren chick. The new poster girl (giant ad in LES, nipples shown in Broadway.. SAy HI to daddy i hear her parents werent that happy after Dov promised not to show the photos let alone publish them. Or was that part of the image of the store. She use to model for him a few years ago she told me… if that is true then she must of been really underage…whats with the underage girls DOV? the people he hires are all (maybe me including)girls and boys fresh out of high school woth out experience. And if its true that he sleeps with his employees, thats alot of underaged sex.
    Too bad sex sells and at AA you must sell sex to the owner to make your money.
    I have heard that Sona might quit her college 4.0 at the dream job of AA designer..is that going to be before or after Dov is done with you. You know we all grow old and no longer pre college age.

    There has been many excuses why Dov decided to fire people apparently in the UES stores it was because he doesnt want Part Time workers. okey.
    but the other day he closed down the Waverly Store and fired the employees there because they talk to much, or they dont have the right vibe.

    He fired a chick at Court Street Last week after giving the store an extra 250 shopping bonus and massages (and the chance to then write thank you letters to him.)What a nice guy.

    In the LES store apparently Sona was out of defalt the oldest employee because during the massive firing she was the last man standing (and one other;a guy)

    I meet girls everyday when i work at the store asking how can they model or how can they work here. And i tell them. I need to work but i dont need to be harassed, feed gifts and massages, looked over by employees flown from other countries and states who have been there just as long as i have, to feel that i have what it takes to love AA, and Dov Chaneys envisioned future.

    Erase what you have all see and heard about a company, its all a fad and soon with every fad be forgotten like the many before it.

    I dont write my name because Sona would tell on me (because he likes to send people to find out whos a real team player) and then i wont have a job and i wont be able to pay my bills. Im not ready to get fired just yet.
    And plus those defending DAv and kind of winning AA Love points. The more you prove to Dov that you live and breath the company the more bed time slots youll get. And thats job security.

    and this all relates to the jewish community because he is Jewish, plans to market the All Cotton Yamica.

    See you at work on Sunday!
    A.C.E and the Revolutions.

    please check out http://WWW.myspace.com and the UNAMERICAN APPAREL . or just look at American Apparel.net and make up your own mind.

    P.S Lauren Phoenix was a hired porn star who really love the AA socks. Hot damn.

    kill them with kindness.

  82. aagirl

    7/9/2005 at 4:10 pm

    there will always be haters…

    rock on Dov.

  83. Ian B.

    7/9/2005 at 5:01 pm

    Apparently the NYTimes is among the “haters”. Here is another article about Dov Charney and his unstoppable Jewish libido. Should we be concerned that his actions reflect negatively upon the Jewish community?

  84. currentemployee

    7/9/2005 at 6:36 pm

    Dear current employee. I’m 22 years old, I have my whole life to go back to school, and with my 4.0 which you so correctly mentioned, they’ll take me back. So don’t worry about me, girl.
    What baffles me though is why in the world you are staying with a company that you despise so much, get another job. It seems just a bit masochistic to suffer in a company just to prove to yourself that what they say they stand for is bullshit. move on, go to a place where you’re comfortable, get a job that makes you happy. if you are this miserable this place will give you wrinkles and then when the job requires it, you definitely won’t be able to look like the models on the walls (who by the way aren’t all that surreal looking since they are for the most part AA employees, but you know that right?)
    On a different note, since this is Jewlicious and all, it’s going to be RSA2005 the all cotton yarmulke not yamica.

  85. Vertically Integrated Culturejamming

    7/9/2005 at 7:43 pm

    CK-

    I’m not an employee or ex-employee of American Apparel, just an observer who’s been watching this issue unfold on your blog for several months now.

    I’m puzzled at your “Dov Reconsidered” stance. Whether Claudine Ko likes Dov Charney isn’t really the point. It’s clear that she consented to watching Dov engage in sex and to watching him masturbate. It’s also likely that all of the employees who have slept with Dov gave consent. If consent were our only measure of whether someone was a creep or not, we would probably find ourselves “consenting” to all sorts of degradations of the spirit. Democracy is a good example, since President Bush, duly elected by a majority also rules by our “consent.”

    The question is not whether Claudine Ko and Sona and other true believers find Dov a lovable, hairy hunk of raw charisma. It’s whether or not his company engages in illegal or unethical labor practices. All of the anecdotal evidence suggest that it does. And Dov’s remarks about feminism, domestic violence and sexual harassment are fair game for our analysis and criticism. Instead of asking whether Dov’s girls “consent” to sex with the boss, why not addresss the man’s stated philosophies, which are misogynist. Where you see a “blunt” or plain-speaking rebel, I see a garden variety sexist with style.

    And his advertising as I mentioned in an earlier post is an assault upon our political and aesthetic sensiblities. It’s supremely creepy.

    So, I’m curious why you’ve “reconsidered” this particlar creep. And also why you’ve chosen to dismiss the concerns of the disgruntled ex-employees. Does being an ex-employee *really* invalidate their remarks? Seems like the worst kind of ad hominem dismissal.

    And if they wish to remain anonymous because they fear retribution, why is that so bad?

    Frankly American Apparel bears many of the same characterisitics as an abusive cult. American Apparel looks like the Scientology of the fashion industry.

    As more evidence of discontent spills forth, I’m looking forward to your “Dov Reconsidered Reconsidered” post.

  86. christina cash money zuleta

    7/9/2005 at 10:47 pm

    there is no factory in mexico here is evidence that your facts are skewed. 100 % of american apparel garments are cut and sewn in the downtown facotry. the company also knits most of its fabric in house facilities. the company has recently aquired a dye house and will be dying the fabric inhouse as well. you ovibiously know little about the company and at best you worked at one of the 60 retails store in america. why don’t you visit the facotry before talking so much. i did… i can arrange a tour for you just e mail me. the reason we don’t say sweatshop free anymore is because we believe the clothing can sell it self and we don’t need to push it for sales.
    and vertically integrated means that instead of outsourcing all over the world we control all aspects of our business on the seven floors of our factory. but you should have known that already being a long time employee. BY the WAY i was a former employee and i got another job because i didnt like my raise at american apparel but i still support the company and dov for what he is doing. working at the retail store wasnt good enough for me so i got a better job to pay the bills. You should too. oh and also i have never meet any under age girls that dov has slept with…. i mean they have all been at least 18. dont mess the law man.

  87. i wear aa

    7/9/2005 at 10:57 pm

    i am just wondering why all these people care so much about who he sleeps with. if i was a rich dude with a sweet company i would be giving my honeys jobs too. i mean that kinda of makes sense to me and there is nothing against the law about it. i could see why these people are using it against him….. probably cuz they were never given the chance to sleep with the dude…

  88. Ruben

    7/9/2005 at 11:37 pm

    Ok, this is just getting to be plain stupid, I’m a long time employee for American Apparel and in all this years I have seen people’s envy at Dov’s persona, to all of you uninformed shitheads that just want to jump on the banwagon I say FUCK YOU!! and to the rest of you my apologies for the missuse of the english lenguage but it sickens me that people who has never set foot at the company and have not seen the way Dov cares about his employees and the strugle he lives to ensure jobs for almost 4000 people pisses me off, do they really know the truth, THIS IS AMERICA for god’s sake if you are a female this is the best place to live at for you have choices; some girls come here and find out he has a huge dick not to mention the chance of maybe become the “ONE” of one of the mavericks of the garment industry that they actually are the ones that come up to him, I have seen it, has abyone of you shitheads out there seen it? I know the truth to all of this and I’m not hidding from anyone who would like to really get informed e-mail me anytime and I can answer your questions or better yet come to the main office and experince the REAL American Apparel.

  89. ck

    7/9/2005 at 11:44 pm

    Vertically Integrated Culturejamming: What a long nick! Can I call you Dave instead? OK Dave. Let’s start with the creep issue. Dov is kind of unusual, to say the least. And to that I reply “So what?”

    Now let’s move on to more germaine matters. Illegal labor practices. Some people note that AA is against the unionization of their downtown LA factory. I think that’s not unusual – especially when pretty much everyone agrees that the employees in question are treated so well. Those in the pro AA camp also have their own claims – that the unionization drive was a cash grab that would not have helped the employees and that the union itself engaged in dishonest tactics when trying to sign up members. Who is right? I don’t know for sure but I do know that those employees are pretty happy – there’s even a huge waiting list of people hoping to be hired by AA.

    So again, you don’t like Dov. Do you like the owner of every establishment you deal with? And what’s with all this puritanism? Compared to what one sees in mainstream fashion mags, AA’s stuff is decidedly tame. I also like the fact that they use real people, men and women, as opposed to heavily photoshopped 15 year old Molodovian models.

    I’ve met AA employees. The cult designation may sound cool, but all I met were hard working folks with families. In light of that I think you’re being a bit unfair and perhaps a tad insulting? I mean you make these people out to be zombies or morons. What makes you so much smarter than them? What do you propose they do? Quit their good jobs and work for a real sweatshop? Or perhaps they can work for a vegetarian restaurant run by a lesbian couple whose politics and business practices meet your approval?

    Look, I know your sentiments come from a good place. But those civil trials have not yet been decided and we know how litigious Americans can be. I would simply urge you to try to be fair in your judgement and try to separate fact from conjecture. I did and that’s why I clarified my position. Is that cool Dave?

  90. d.o.b.

    7/10/2005 at 1:39 am

    Unite has received close to 1 billion in ‘liquidated damages’ from companies that have sent jobs overseas, none of which is shared with its members. In fact labor violations occur as frequently, if not more often, in unionized shops than in no-unionized shops.”

  91. d.o.b.

    7/10/2005 at 1:40 am

    The nonsense, personal attacks, hearsay etc. is just redundant and boring at this point.
    Creating this fictional uprising has become an obsession for these kids. Unable to discern fact from gossip, this group of ex-employees (and the men/women who love them) does not understand that outside of their upper-middle class existence there is a big, pink factory where thousands of people come to work everyday that have been given opportunities that would have never been available to them before American Apparel opened its doors.

    One myth that must be dispelled immediately is in regards to the anti-union stance of the company. I am an employee of the company. I work in the production department, which means that I deal directly with the sewing operators, cutting department, fabric inspectors, and quality control examiners. The majority of the factory workers are from Latin America and Asia and what I find so incredible is that the differences of culture and language become obsolete once you step inside that elevator every morning. Once we start our day, we are all there to do our jobs to the best of our ability. There is undeniable love for the company and to imply that the workers were not afforded the right to unionize is absurd.

    In 2003 there was a 15-day union drive organized by the Unite union. During that two week period Unite deceitfully obtained the contact information of American Apparel employees, told employees that Dov himself encouraged them to join, and conveniently forgot to let them know about the membership fees they would have to pay. Once the employees learned about this, they took it upon themselves to stage a demonstration asking that the Unite organization respect their choice to remain union-free. The decision that the workers came to was not a result of intimidation. Dov issued a personal statement that said that in no way would anyone be fired or intimidated if they supported the union. Flyers were posted at every time clock that reiterated that American Apparel recognized their right to unionize. It is both demeaning and extremely privileged to assume that the workers could only come to this conclusion by having been misled or bullied. You are basically saying that the factory workers are somehow not intelligent enough to educate themselves on the union issue and/or are not strong enough to stand up for what they believe is right.

    After this debacle took place, Unite was obviously embarrassed and rather than admit that the workers at American Apparel rejected their attempt to unionize because they are happy and provided for, Unite needed to save face. The story published on the ‘Behind the Label’ site attacked the working conditions at the factory and claimed that the workers were told they would lose their jobs if they had joined the union. Not only was this false, but the beginning of an obvious schemer campaign. What most people do not know is that this site is funded by Unite. These claims were manufactured to generate publicity and nothing more

    Unite has a history of corruption and their policies are abhorrent. The upper level “leaders” of the administration make upwards of $300,000 a year, whereas the Unite members salary averages $10-12,000 annually if they have stable 40 hour a week, 52 weeks a year employment. If you are familiar with the garment industry you know that it is nearly impossible to guarantee that type of schedule. The so-called health plan costs it offers its members cost $200 dollars a month, which is simply not an option on a take home monthly income of $800-$1000 on average. Oh and you are only given the opportunity to sign up for the health plan after 700 hours of work. There is also no limitation on the number of hours that you work because once you are a Unite member your work is contracted. Therefore, during peak seasons you could be looking at an 80-hour work week with no overtime pay. During the 90’s, 21 of Unite officials were indicted for taking bribes. It was reported by the Center for Economic and Social rights that Unite has received close to 1 billion in ‘liquidated damages’ from companies that have sent jobs overseas, none of which is shared with its members.

    So, if that isn’t enough reason to see why our workers passed on their invitation to join, I don’t know what is. The problem is that misinformed people are again only seeing the headline and not reading the story. Take the time to know your stuff. Come into the factory. I will personally set up a tour and interviews for those of you that want to speak to people who were at the company when all of this went down. It’s not always black and white. And it isn’t all about one man. When you attack the altruistic and humanistic intentions of the company make sure that you are not simply doing it because you disagree with the sexual politics of one person. There is a bigger picture and I am lucky to be a part of it everyday.

  92. Ruben

    7/10/2005 at 1:50 am

    OH MY GOD!!!! I’m reading more of this and is just plain ignorance the only one that seems to be making sence is CK, I was involved on the Union drive and just so that people know the truth here it is. Unite got some of their people hired at the company so that they could play the ” some employees have called us to tell us about unfair treatment at AA” card, they used the fact that some employees don’t speak english or can’t even write to tell them different stories to make them sign petition cards, they told employees that the petitions were for the company not to take the business else where, they were told it was a petition for the driving licence bill here in California, they were told that Dov himself wanted them to sign, some of my coworkers and I actually talked to the people and explained them what was going on, there was an employee organized rally to let the union know they were not wanted specially after the tactics used to try to get in. They harresed people at their homes after work, call them on the phone and waited for them ouside the company, the Union was invited to the rally for a debate and did not show, a group of us met with some high ranked people from unite to explain them we were not against the union but wanted to remain union free their answer was WE WILL GET IN ONE WAY OR ANOTHER, they started to attack Dov and that only proves one thing, they think of us employees as ignorant, incapable of making our own decisions. Newsflash!!! We have a word here; How many garment companies do you know that have a well stablish HUMAN RESOURCES department? Think about that and don’t let this people with personal agendas do the thinking for you.

    CK whoever you are hopefully someday you can come and see the real deal. Thanks for your comments.

  93. Vertically Integrated Culturejamming

    7/10/2005 at 1:59 am

    CK-

    There is a difference between “puritanism” and using one’s bullshit detector. As I stated in my earlier post, I don’t have a beef with porn. I like me some porn. But I don’t like sexual harassment. I don’t like corporations which openly sexually exploit their employees, while also trying to convince me of their leftist political bonafides. If I wanted to see the kind of crap that goes on at my local AA, I’d simply order up some jalapeno poppers at Hooters or take in a show at Cheetah’s. But all this talk about how socially-responsible AA is simply doesn’t sit well alongside Dov’s bizarre misogynist granstanding.

    You charitably call the man “kind of unusual” and “up front.” Let’s not mince words. The guy is a sexist creep. And AA’s ads and retail operation embody this creepiness.

    You think I’m being too judgemental or puritanical? Fair enough. But what do you make of remarks like “Women initiate most domestic violence.” How does that square with your personal politics?

    No, I don’t interrogate every CEO about his views or sex life before buying his product. But very few CEOs have gone to quite the trouble to invite me into their sex lives. AA’s ads are all over Los Angeles. On bus benches, the backs of every alt-weekly and even on my favorite websites. Also very few companies have gone to the lengths that AA has to convince me that buying their products is a socially-responsible lifestyle choice.

    Taken together: the creepy sexual stuff and the political mumbo jumbo, Dov is serving up a load of crap that deserves careful attention.

    And no, I don’t think all of the employees at AA are brainwashed cult members. If you read my earlier post, you’d see that I think the manufacturing side of the business appears to be run ethically. It’s the retail operation that looks like a cult. There’s a reason we’ll never see Alma Amaya (cutting dept.) and Angela Cruz (inspection dept.) in one of those sexy AA ads. They’re working for the part of the company which generates good PR for AA. Meanwhile his advertising and retail operation push the sexy hipster image to the company’s youth target market.

    I wouldn’t like to see your friends out of jobs. I’d like to see Dov clean up his act. Stop bombarding us with his bullshit ads and make his stores a comfortable place for women to work. That would be a smart move. Smart for Dov, smart for his business and good for all of us who care about building a world which doesn’t exploit anyone: whether they be Mexican factory workers or skinny white hipster girls. You’d get behind that, wouldn’t you?

  94. Ruben

    7/10/2005 at 7:13 am

    I would like to modify an earlier comment, this is actually getting to be a display of ignorance and bitterness; let’s correct a couple of things: NO I’M NOT SLEEPING WITH DOV NOR AM I GETTING POINTS FOR THIS, there is no factory in Mexico, and what is it with the no name thing out of fear, so now not only do you think Dov is a perv but also a mafia godfather??????? get real, if you are not happy working for this company, QUIT, no one is holding you to stay, I know there is a long list of people wanting to be hired or maybe you just don’t have the skills to advance and are bitter about it. Fact is I have been here almost from the beggining I have seen this company grow and create jobs ( over 4000 of them) keeping the much needed business here in the states paying taxes other companies avoid by manufacturing out of the states, I have seen Dov donate garments and even money to different organizations, I have seen him help several employees in hard times including myself; I started working here almost by accident and started way on the bottom, very little education, I was given a chance to learn a skill just like lots of other people who like me had never touch a computer before. I think the “current employees” need to be brought in to the factory so they can feel what it actually is. Is funny that the people who is attacking Dov only worked for a short time and are pissed that they could not be a part of this dream that came true called American Apparel.
    One last comment for those current employees: Contact the Human Resources Dept at the main office before crying NO ONE CARES ABOUT US IN RETAIL, as a coworker and long time employee I’m sure any problem you may have will be taken care of by them, still not sure? If you really are concern about the situation EVERYONE knows you can e-mail Dov himself directly and he always responds to employee concerns; at least you still think he will put a mafia hit on you.

  95. johnson

    7/10/2005 at 11:41 am

    It’s strange to me that a guy like this, who comes up with a completely original and very cool idea… decent clothes, US manufacturing, takes care of it’s employees, etc… can’t come up with an original concept for his own fucking persona ?
    No. He simply has jumped on the bandwagon of legions of young men who have dedicated their entire style, persona, street cred, what have you…. to ripping off Terry Richardson.
    How pathetic.

  96. A.C.E and The Revoluntions

    7/10/2005 at 11:53 am

    Well if your going to email Dov why not call his cell phone then..i sure love it when he told me to call him im sure hell love it for you to call him….he’s such a pal. 1 213 xxx xxxx.

    Thank God for AA internet connections during lunch breaks.!
    ACE

    Ed. Note: Sorry, but I decided to delete the phone number. I don’t think its a nice thing to do – we don’t post your IP address! However, if its ok with Dov, we’ll put it back up.

  97. tasha

    7/10/2005 at 4:45 pm

    What a pitiful revolutionary you are, ACE. Our generation has been taught to protest anything at the drop of a hat. How about learning who it is you really will be hurting? The families who had positively been affected by American Apparel. The minorities that have been able to take their kids to a doctor and get proper care and attention. People oppressed so badly in their own country that they risked everything to come here.
    A lot of you are saying that it is the retail stores that are the sweatshops. You are out of your fucking minds. Wake up. If you can live off of an entry level retail employees salary, you are obviously fortunate enough to be getting some help from some other source. And that’s fine. I’ve gone to my parents for money and I am goddamn lucky that they have been able to help me out. But to liken your working conditions to that of a sweatshop makes me ill. You will never be able to sympathize with the plights of many of the factory workers at AA. I never will either. But I also know that not everything is relative. Not being able to pay your fucking Sidekick bill is not a tragedy. Grow up. Get over yourselves. And stop being so condescending. It’s as old as your passe-fashion mullets.
    It’s not attractive.

  98. D.C.

    7/10/2005 at 5:24 pm

    Awareness
    There is no explanation you can give that would explain away all
    the sufferings and evil and torture and destruction and hunger in the
    world! You’ll never explain it Jared. You can try gamely with your
    formulas, religious and otherwise, but you’ll never explain it. Because
    life is a mystery, which means your thinking mind cannot make sense out
    of it. For that you’ve got to wake up and then you’ll suddenly realize
    the illusion you’re living in, and that reality is not problematic, you
    are the problem. Why create more for yourself? 1+1= Jared.

    I react to you in a helpful way

  99. Ronite

    7/10/2005 at 6:45 pm

    It is unfortunate that so much focus has been put on Dov Charney’s personal life overlooking the major acheivements of his professional career. I have worked with Dov for over 12 years and have seen him go through thick and thin to emerge as CEO of one of the most successful, ethical and innovative apparel companies of our time. The exponential growth of the company has translated into employment for over 4,000 individuals who are all remunerated beyond our industry standards and for whom exceptional benefits and growth opportunities are offered.

    It is unfortunate that given the success of the founder, certain disgruntled employees will seek to exploit unfair media portrayals of Dov Charney to extort funds by fabricating their own fictitious experiences.

    I personally started as an entry level sales representative to become V.P. of Canadian operations today. Sexual harassment has taken on many different definitions over time. I know that anyone who knows Dov on a personal and professional basis for an extended period of time will come to understdand his persona and not take offense at his unique behaviours, none of which can fall under any realistic definitions of sexual harassment. Call him manic,unorthodox, eccentric, even outragious but his behaviours are neither exploitative nor abusive.

  100. trevorD

    7/10/2005 at 7:04 pm

    Just reading the articles in the New York Times has made me not want to buy American Apparel.

  101. micha

    7/10/2005 at 10:26 pm

    oh well it doesn’t seem to work. the company is bella

  102. themiddle

    7/10/2005 at 10:43 pm

    Hi, I’m TM from Jewlicious (your link above). I have to admit that as I’ve learned more about the company and its employees, I am saddened that our site plays a role in this controversy.

    Ultimately, Charney has been doing something that virtually no other clothing manufacturers of any size are doing these days. Who makes clothes in the US? How many companies employ 4000-5000 people at fair wages with benefits in the garment industry? For that matter, how many do it in any industry where the work can be shipped off to China?

    To me, those jobs – whether they are used as part of a marketing strategy or not – are far more important than Charney or his alleged sexual issues. In fact, when I think about thousands of families, many of them blue collar (and as the poster above noted, some without English language skills), being able to work and earn respectable wages because Charney has been able to grow this company, and compare that to whether a few employees were intimidated or not by his sexual overtures, it is clear to me which is the more important. There’s no contest.

  103. themiddle

    7/10/2005 at 10:44 pm

    That was a comment I posted a day or two ago on another site discussing (partially in reaction to this post) American Apparel and whether one should support their products.

  104. ex employee

    7/10/2005 at 10:48 pm

    i am a former employee of american apparel but still a supporter reguardless of all these attacks against Dov. I am really proud to say i worked for a man that had so much drive and cares so much about the workers. My mother was a sweat shop worker in the 70 and 80 and i know from her own stories how hard this life was of working long hours with little pay. i respect everything that this man has done and i am very sad to find out that all these people are saying all this crap about the man. in my own opion nothing is factual from these disgruntled employees. I was at one point a disgruntled employee but i called up dov and let him know what kinda changes should be made from my own experience working at retail store. He meet up with me the same day and we talked a little bit about the company, he was so intrested in what i had to say. after all he wants to make sure everyone is happy. i have never seen anyone else put themselves out there like this man. thank you for being so real dov

  105. go aa

    7/10/2005 at 11:41 pm

    here is a little information you should all read before attacking Dov by making comments that are not true regaurding threats to factory workers when the topic of union came up.

    this is a letter to the worker from ceo dov charney

    Dear workers,

    Several politicians and academics are astonished that the company’s
    workers do not want a union.

    They have the impression that the company has harassed, intimidated, or
    threatened to fire workers in order to get the union out of the
    company.

    The reality is that they don’t understand that our business model is
    based on cooperation between workers and the company, and this has been
    the formula for the company’s success. They don’t understand that
    the company’s interests are parallel to those of the workers. They
    don’t understand that we want to send out a positive message to the
    world: workers, management and customers are in this business together.
    They don’t understand that treating workers well is efficient and good
    business.

    To my knowledge we are the only apparel company in the industrialized
    world making this business model of cooperation happen. This is why we
    are getting so much attention.

    Specifically relating to this union drive, outsiders don’t understand
    that when: (1) the workers were advised of the details of the union
    concept, for example that it would cost $23.10 per month from their
    paychecks; and (2) they discovered that I or the company had not
    positively affirmed the union as the union had claimed, any support for
    the union died a sudden death. Now, unfortunately, this sudden death
    appears suspicious.

    I even invited the union to hold an immediate election— even though
    they do not have enough signatures for an election as required by law—
    but they declined, saying that the workers have been too intimidated and
    harassed. They are telling the world that workers want a union but
    American Apparel has

    The reality is that the critics simply cannot fathom the possibility
    that workers, on their own, and without pressure from management, came
    to the conclusion that the concept of the union did not apply to
    American Apparel’s business model. They cannot understand that the
    workers themselves have rejected the union. They are claiming that there
    is too much of an environment of fear for the workers to now make a
    proper decision on their own. They say that the petition signed by
    almost 1000 workers was coerced and workers did not know what they were
    signing.

    REGARDLESS……..

    Although this has been said many times before and you probably already
    know it…..
    It is critical that everyone understand that no worker will be punished
    nor will their job opportunities be diminished in any way if he or she
    chooses to support a union or the concept of unionization. Also, no
    worker will be punished nor will their job opportunities be diminished
    in any way if he or she chooses not to support a union or the concept of
    unionization. The final choice is entirely up to employees. Although it
    should go without saying, American Apparel will, under all
    circumstances, ensure that our work environment is free of any form of
    harassment, specifically regarding unionization. Not only is this
    required by California and Federal Law, but we feel the right to
    organize a union freely or reject a union is a fundamental civil right
    and we are proud to promote such an environment of openness where
    workers are free to choose. I will close this company before the rights
    of my workers are compromised. PERIOD.

    I appreciate the solidarity you’ve shown for the company and I will
    never forget the events of the last 10 days.

    Theoretically, even if workers choose to unionize, nothing will bring
    down the company and everyone’s job security will remain intact so
    long as I am in charge. If anyone from management told you otherwise,
    they are wrong.

    I know we are going to have a great future together so let’s keep it
    positive.

    If anyone needs to speak with me, please feel free to contact me in
    person. Please speak with Daisy to make an appointment and I will make
    myself available of you cannot find me.

    Thank you.

    Dov

  106. trevorD

    7/10/2005 at 11:43 pm

    This isn’t going anywhere.

  107. LBH

    7/10/2005 at 11:49 pm

    LOOK BEHIND THE UNION LABEL … 01/20/98

    The Village Voice

    Category: Features

    Published: 01/20/98

    Page: 32

    Caption: Photo 1: Members of 23-25, UNITE’s largest local, protest in

    front of an Eighth Avenue sweatshop.

    Photo 2: The day after their election, new AFL-CIO honchos John

    Sweeney,

    Linda Chavez-Thompson, and Richard Trumka marched with UNITE head Jay

    Mazur and 23-25 manager Edgar Romney in New York.

    Credit: earl dotter/impact visuals

    LOOK BEHIND THE UNION LABEL

    Byline: Robert Fitch

    This holiday season, UNITE, the needle-trades union that nearly a
    century ago began to transform Manhattan’s rag trade jungle into a
    social democracy, bought full-page ads in major papers across the
    country. ”We are taking a stand against sweatshops,” the union
    declared. ”When you shop this season,” UNITE told shoppers, ”please
    remember the women, men, and sometimes even children who have sewn the
    clothes you may purchase.”

    Here in New York, Guess Inc. stood out as the main target of the union’s
    antisweatshop campaign. On December 4, UNITE staged a protest in front
    of Guess Inc.’s Soho outlet. Guess is the high-fashion, low-wage jeans
    manufacturer that’s been based in L.A. But as it transferred its
    nonunion operations from L.A. to Mexico, Guess found itself moving to
    the top of UNITE’s list of renegade clothes producers, where now
    union-friendly Kathie Lee Gifford used to be.

    But on the same day as the Guess protest, just a few doors down the
    street at 446 Broadway, where Soho’s fashionable boutiques begin to
    bleed into Chinatown’s Dickensian sweatshops, Dennis Vacco, attorney
    general of New York, held his own press conference. UNITE’s ”Season of
    Concern” for sweatshop workers was about to be interrupted by an
    embarrassing revelation.

    Vacco announced that he was set to arrest Lai Fong Yuen, a sportswear
    contractor, who had been making clothes inside 446 Broadway for Kathie
    Lee Gifford. Yuen, he charged, had failed to pay nearly 100 workers for
    10 weeks. When she had paid them, she had consistently violated state
    minimum wage and overtime laws. Inside her three factories, workers had
    regularly put in 10-to-11-hour days, seven days a week. Most had earned
    only a fraction of the $5.15-an-hour federal minimum wage. Some had
    earned as little as $1 an hour. In November, Yuen had tried to skip out
    on her workers, sending them home, then sending in movers to pick up her
    sewing machines and clothes.

    For jaded New Yorkers inclined to question the novelty of Chinese
    immigrants working here under sweatshop conditions, Vacco produced this
    surprise: 446 Broadway was a union sweatshop.

    Lai Fong Yuen had been producing Kathie Lee clothes under a contract
    with Local 23-25 of UNITE. What’s more, a recent internal Labor
    Department investigation into New York City sweatshops–portions of
    which were obtained by the Voice under the Freedom of Information
    Act–shows conditions in Lai Fong Yuen’s shops weren’t so different from
    those in the other 250 Chinatown plants where Local 23-25 contracts are
    in force.

    The original survey, released by Labor Secretary Alexis Herman on
    October 16, studiously avoided drawing attention to comparisons between
    union and nonunion sweatshops. But the raw data suggest that contractors
    with union agreements actually tend to have more wage and hour
    violations than nonunion plants.

    Standing in the darkened factory at 446 Broadway, Vacco pledged to
    recover the money owed the members of 23-25–variously estimated at
    $300,000 to $500,000. About a dozen laughing, jubilant union women
    surrounded Vacco, celebrating their partial victory over the inscrutable
    system of American labor law. The Chinese immigrant women called down to
    dozens of their fellow workers on the sidewalk, and a few climbed the
    stairs to join them alongside Vacco. But no officials of 23-25 were
    invited to share the moment–either by Vacco or the workers.

    UNITE–which stands for United Needle and Industrial Trade
    Employees–has a history that goes back to the 1909 ”Uprising of the
    20,000.” That year, Jewish immigrant women, in revolt against their
    bosses and conservative union leaders, staged a mass strike that led to
    the rise of the International Ladies’ Garment Workers’ Union. In 1995,
    the 100,000-member ILGWU merged with the 90,000-member Amalgamated
    Clothing and Textile Workers–Norma Rae’s union–to form UNITE.

    23-25, the largest local in UNITE, could be called the mother of
    presidents. UNITE president Jay Mazur became head of the ILGWU in 1986
    because of his stewardship of 23-25. Mazur, who speaks no Cantonese,
    organized downtown Chinese workers by winning over their uptown Seventh
    Avenue bosses. Mazur won a flood of agreements with manufacturers
    (sometimes reportedly by offering manufacturers better contracts than
    other ILGWU locals had offered). Then the contractors signed up with the
    union in order to get work from the manufacturers. Sometimes contractors
    even paid workers’ union initiation fees. Workers got a health plan,
    which is now much watered-down because of income restrictions and high
    employee co-payments, which nonunion contractors did not offer.

    These fees, together with workers’ dues of $18 a month–almost equal to
    what a $40,000-a-year NEA teacher pays in dues–all add up. Last year,
    Local 23-25’s total income topped $10 million. Four million came from
    dues, and UNITE’s share of the local’s take was $2 million. UNITE knows
    how to accumulate capital. The union began 1996 with $226 million in
    assets. It owns Manhattan office buildings that house commercial tenants
    like rag queen Donna Karan. UNITE even owns a bank–the
    Amalgamated–that its accountants value at $57 million.

    Still, income from 23-25 members is critical: the rest of the union is
    shrinking, and shrinking fast. The ILGWU went from 450,000 members at
    its peak to 100,000 by 1995. Yet membership in 23-25 has stayed the same
    for nearly 20 years.

    What’s worse, Local 23-25 is currently under investigation by the
    Racketeering Division of the U.S. Department of Labor. An official in
    the department refused to speculate about whether indictments would come
    down, saying he couldn’t predict the outcome of the investigation. But
    federal investigators say the inquiry into racketeering activities grows
    directly out of the bribery conviction of Local 23-25 official Eddie Ko,
    a $40,000-a-year business agent. On September 10, 1996, Ko pleaded
    guilty in U.S. district court to taking nearly $5400 in bribes from
    employers over a two-year period. Ko is still awaiting sentencing.

    And the ongoing investigation into possible widespread corruption in
    Local 23-25 recalls a similar inquiry into UNITE’s Local 10–Dubinsky’s
    old local–that began four years ago and resulted in jail time for its
    top officials. In 1993, federal investigators set up a sting operation
    called ”Brain Cutting” using a garment-shop front on East 34th Street.
    Almost immediately, Israel Mechlowicz, the local’s manager, and Seymour
    Resnick, the local’s assistant manager, dropped by to solicit bribes. In
    exchange for cash, the union officials promised to look the other way
    while the ”bosses” stole workers’ benefits and
    ”double-breasted”–used nonunion labor while under union contract. A
    backroom video camera caught them on tape taking bribes from federal
    agents.

    ”An isolated incident and a temporary setback,” announced Jay Mazur in
    1994, after Resnick and Mechlowicz were sentenced. But it turned out the
    corruption wasn’t isolated at all. In December 1994, another set of
    Local 10 officials was caught taking bribes from manufacturers.
    Contractors for Anne Klein bribed Local 10 business agents to let them
    use nonunion labor and ignore payments to union health funds. Sometimes
    all it took was $200.

    And just this summer, top officials in UNITE were deeply shaken by the
    revelations coming out of Daily News reporter Ying Chan’s investigation
    into the death of 11-year-old Quin-Rong Wu. For weeks, police searched
    for the missing girl, who’d only recently arrived in America. She was
    discovered murdered on May 28, her body thrown into the East River.

    Though tabloid accounts had painted a picture of Wu as a happy Chinatown
    schoolkid, Chan discovered the girl had actually spent her last days
    working in a union garment factory, NBC Connections, at 54 Canal Street.
    ”She was so small,” a coworker recalled, ”she had to rest her chin on
    the machine.”

    Her mother claimed that Wu had just played on the sewing machines, but
    coworkers reported that tiny Quin-Rong Wu worked at machine number 67 in
    a factory belonging to Johnny Lam, Chinatown’s most prominent garment
    contractor. Lam, who owns 14 factories, is the former head of the
    Sportswear Apparel Association, which maintains a model collective
    bargaining agreement with UNITE locals 10 and 23-25. The contract
    provides a 35-hour week and wages as high as $10 an hour. Had the union
    enforced the contract, Quin-Rong’s mother, You Qin Wu, would have taken
    home substantially more than the $100 a week she was earning under the
    supervision of Johnny Lam’s sister JoAnn.

    Child labor is no aberration in Chinatown’s union shops. Quin-Rong’s
    family had to pay $700 a month for rent. Her father earned only $350 a
    week working in a noodle factory. Earning less than $2 an hour, You Qin
    Wu had to work long days. The family couldn’t afford child care. So
    Quin-Rong came to the factory and wound up working alongside her
    mother.

    Sweatshops in Chinatown are as well known as whorehouses in Amsterdam’s
    red-light district. And nearly as visible. ”Everybody in China- town
    knows,” says Peter Kwong, chair of the Asian-American Studies program
    at Hunter College and author of a new book on Chinese immigrants,
    Forbidden Workers. ”It’s not as if the sweatshops were underground. You
    can stand outside and see the lights burning all along Canal Street till
    midnight. The whole economy of Chinatown is organized around the
    sweatshop schedule. Fast-food shops stay open so they can sell to the
    women who come off work at 9 p.m.” About 250 of Chinatown’s more than
    500 garment factories have contracts with Local 23-25, according to
    Louis Vanegas, who participated in the Department of Labor sweatshop
    study.

    Could Local 23-25 be unaware that children are working in its factories?
    Each shop is supposed to have a business agent who’s paid to service the
    members’ concerns and make sure the contract is enforced. You could
    argue the kids are small and escape notice. But how could the union be
    unaware that its members are being forced to violate the contract by
    working 12 hours a day?

    The union does know that its members are being systematically defrauded
    by contractors who pay only a fraction of what they owe into employee
    benefit funds–the largest single number of cases in the Southern
    District consists of union suits seeking payment from contractors for
    unpaid benefit contributions. Besides, Local 23-25’s assistant manager
    May Chen says UNITE can’t be blamed for failing to enforce its contracts
    with sweatshop owners. Chen, the first Chinese American woman in the
    overwhelmingly Chinese local to serve as an officer, takes issue with
    the the October 16 Labor Department study that portrays violations in
    union shops as more widespread than in nonunion shops. In the
    department’s 94-shop survey, 15 of the 20 union shops were in violation
    of labor standards. Among nonunion shops the percentage was 59 per cent.
    The report shows neither union nor nonunion contractors have much to be
    proud of: only 37 per cent of all shops surveyed complied with federal
    minimum wage and overtime laws.

    ”UNITE is very concerned with the results of the study,” Chen says.
    Still, she disputes the Labor Department’s data. ”It’s our impression
    that the department’s method of determining which shop was union and
    which was nonunion was flawed. They just asked the owners in passing,
    ‘Are you a union shop?”’ So, Chen argues, nonunion owners lied–they
    claimed to have unions–to make a good impression on the Labor
    Department, and the department didn’t double-check.

    And Chen denies that corruption is endemic in Local 23-25. ”Eddie Ko
    was fired as soon as he was indicted,” she points out. Since Ko was
    fired, Chen says, the local has gotten rid of five of its 14 business
    agents. Four were offered early retirement. None have been replaced.

    Sweatshop conditions persist in union shops, says Chen, because of
    market forces and the unusual closeness that exists between Chinese
    contractors and their employees. ”I think the union is making a
    good-faith effort,” she says. ”In the garment industry we’re operating
    in an environment of extreme competition. The bosses and the workers
    share the same ethnicity. They’re very close-knit. The odds are stacked
    against us.”

    A recent Photo in the Chinese press shows a smiling May Chen, with Edgar
    Romney, cutting Christmas cake with Johnny Lam, the sportswear mogul. It
    suggests what 446 Broadway sweatshop workers I interviewed actually
    feel: that it’s the union that has close-knit ties with the boss–not
    them.

    In the world of 446 Broadway, Mr. Lin (not his real name), a 35-year-old
    leather-jacketed garment worker, is something of a labor aristocrat.
    ”Most people make less than me,” he observed. Lin earned nearly $350 a
    week putting in 12-hour days six and sometimes seven days a week. But by
    October, Lin and the rest of the 446 workers weren’t getting anything.
    Why didn’t he complain to the union? ”Once I did complain in this other
    shop. We hadn’t been paid for 13 weeks. I called the business agent.
    Later that week, the boss came up to me. ‘I can’t afford to keep you,’
    he said. He paid me what he owed me. But I got fired.” Other workers
    express similar fears and complaints about the union.

    ”It seems as if the union dragged on the case to give an opportunity to
    the boss,” observes Mrs. Chin, another 446 Broadway worker and a
    60-year-old grandmother, who’s been working in garment factories ”ever
    since I got off the plane” in 1990. Mrs. Chin (also not her real name),
    was one of nearly two dozen workers who slept on the street in front of
    446 Broadway in a round-the-clock vigil to prevent Lai Fong Yuen from
    moving her machines and clothes out of the factory in November.

    ”The union bosses only showed up after we appeared on Good Morning New
    York,” says Mrs. Chin. At 10 a.m., while the movers were carrying out
    the machines, May Chen arrived. ”She told us to go into the pen,” the
    area the police had marked off for protesters far down the street, says
    Mrs. Chin. ”May Chen says there’s nothing for us to do. If we try to
    stop the machines from leaving, the police will arrest us. The union
    doesn’t want arrests.” Then, Mrs. Chin says, May Chen ”tells us to
    shout for the TV cameras ‘Boycott Sweatshops!’ I don’t even know what
    this means. And she never told us.” According to Chen, she was only
    concerned about the workers’ welfare.

    What’s wrong with UNITE’s season-of-conscience campaign is not that it
    exists, but that it exists in an organizing vacuum. Like May Chen’s
    effort to get the workers to chant ”Boycott Sweatshops!” while their
    boss moved the collateral for their back pay out the door under police
    protection, it’s a distraction from the main task.

    Remember Mrs. Jellyby in Dickens’s Bleak House? She winds up neglecting
    her own children. One falls down a shaft because she is so preoccupied
    with the welfare of children in far-off Boriobagoola-gha. It turns out
    that Mrs. Jellyby’s husband has a project for teaching the children of
    Boriobagoola-gha how to manufacture piano legs for export.

    UNITE’s aging white leadership substitutes media campaigns aimed at
    upper-middle-class consumers for the indispensable effort of connecting
    with Asian and Latino immigrant members and potential members. Some of
    these immigrant workers have joined UNITE’s workers’ centers in Brooklyn
    and Manhattan, but trapped in its fatal tradition of organizing the
    bosses, the union rarely organizes elections for new members. But the
    Dubinsky days are over. The bosses aren’t signing up anymore. They
    taunt, in their own full-page ads in the L.A. Times, ”UNITE has not
    conducted a single election to unionize in more than 30 years in
    Southern California.” That’s why it’s consumer-boycott time. But
    consumer consciousness won’t make sweatshops go away. Only union
    consciousness will. It wasn’t just the 1909 Uprising of the 20,000 in
    Manhattan–in Chicago, where the Almagamated was founded in 1910, and in
    cities across the country, it was mass strikes that built unions.

    This season, UNITE ought to examine its own conscience. Is it a union,
    or is the union just a loss leader for its banking, real estate, and
    securities operations? Peter Kwong recalls that it was an uprising of
    Jewish immigrant women, dismissed as passive, clannish, and trapped by a
    foreign language, that created the union and the moral capital off of
    which its present leaders now live. Says Kwong, ”By not giving Chinese
    women a real chance to participate in the life of the union, today’s
    leaders are denying their own history.” Six-figure UNITE leaders ought
    to ask themselves, ”Are Mrs. Cheng and the women who blocked the boss’s
    trucks at 446 Broadway so different from our own grandmothers?”

  108. LBH

    7/10/2005 at 11:53 pm

    it about time people start checking their facts

  109. Dov Charney

    7/11/2005 at 12:32 am

    Hey everyone, Dov Charney here. That’s right, this is the man you’ve all been talking about. I just want to thank everyone for making this blog such an unbelievable mess that now you don’t even know if this really is Dov or not.

    As I, Dov, am writing this, I have Sona, my supporter right next to me, and I also have about a half-dozen American Apparel workers who hate me and a half-dozen who love me, and we’re all sitting around playing charades. I also have a Mexican-American worker, Esteban, who would like everyone to know that I have given his family a chance at making a real living in American, and I also have Manuela, who is still mad because I didn’t let her join a union. Oh, who’s that at the door…lemme see…oh great! It’s one of my models! What’s that? She says this was her choice to model for me, and she doesn’t regret it. Thank you. Oh, who’s that calling me? It’s the father of another one of my models, and he’s pissed, cause he doesn’t like that I took advantage of his daughter.

    We’re all here, and I’m sure a few more people will be stopping by soon. Maybe we’ll periodically post a comment here on this blog, and we’ll just let you all decide if it’s really a former or current worker, or if it’s really a model, or if it’s really me, Dov, for that matter.

    Too bad none of you will know.

    Maybe sometimes we’ll post a comment so extravagant that it could only be found in a fairy tale or a horror movie, and then other times it’ll be so understated that it could happen to any one of us. Maybe I’ll post something on here, and then I’ll post something else right afterward rebutting everything I said the first time! That’ll be hilarious! Then no one will have any idea if they’re witnessing a real tooth and nail battle of words, or just a made-up bunch of baloney. What a wonderfully entertaining social experiment this will be!

    And who know, maybe there are bloggers on here who have already started their own bit of storytelling. Keep up the good work, I say! Creative writing isn’t encouraged enough in our school system, so let’s take up the cause here.

    And if anyone is upset about this, relax. It’s not like this blog had any validity to begin with. So with that…let the fun begin!

  110. ck

    7/11/2005 at 1:24 am

    Hi Dov Charney, I mean Trevor. See, we DO know who’s who and what’s what. In case it wasn’t apparent, the post above is not from Mr. Charney. And what’s wrong with our validity?

  111. joel

    7/11/2005 at 5:38 am

    You – we are talking about him. He wins! I wonder what weird ass stuff martha strwart was into with her young guy. Not newsworthy. Watch us lefties jump on Dov – it might help AA take off, help some more Mexican families. I spent some time in the factory. A business run by one man’s cock, wapping a few model’s and employees integrity, comfort, decency and more, and en route making the lives of not just the thousands of Mexicans – not speaking english – integrate, but ALL THEIR FAMILIES HAVING A CHANCE AT GETTING OUT OF POVERTY. The mexican dudes are making more than the graphic designers from montreal. ALmost twice in some cases.

    Man. If only we spent this much time criticizing various republican’s personal conduct: there’s the hypocrisy. Or the fuckin fruit of the loom biz model. Whatever.

    madlogic, I want your email address.!! youre awesome. honda@graphicmaterial.com

  112. trevorD

    7/11/2005 at 9:55 am

    Wow, you caught me CK,,,the point is…this blog is stupid and people can post whatever they want and say they are whoever they want! There, the joke is spelled out for you.

  113. esther

    7/11/2005 at 10:02 am

    In the world of blogs, as in the world of life, people can say they’re whoever they want. As I sipped a Cosmopolitan and slipped into an $800 pair of house shoes, I found myself wondering: in a world where we never really know anyone else, are there people who really know themselves?

    CK might not care if you think we’re stupid, but I’m asking you: please don’t call us “stupid.” Call the post “stupid” or the opinion “stupid” or the economy “stupid.” There’s more to this blog than this one post.

  114. Dov Charney

    7/11/2005 at 10:05 am

    Wow, I was wondering how long it would take before someone started impersonating me on here. Well, here I am to stick up for myself. My name is Dov Charney, don’t believe me? Give me a call at 213-***-****, or email me at dov@americanapparel.net.

    I just wanted to say hi to all my supporters.

    Ed. Note: Once again, NOT Charney

  115. ck

    7/11/2005 at 10:31 am

    You’re right Trevor – people can say and do whatever they want. They can make whatever outlandish claims they like. But the nature of the Internet is such that if you make a bogus claim, people will call you out on it. For instance, you keep pretending to be Dov Charney on this blog! I mean others pretend to have $800 house shoes, or fabulous girl friends or exciting lives – you choose to pretend to be Dov Charney! That’s remarkable! Look, I don’t know know what your trip is, but you are starting to weird me out.

  116. AcurrentEmployeeAndtheRevolutions

    7/11/2005 at 11:20 am

    Well for all of you dieing to join there are open calls today at the broadway store. Dov or Sona im sure will be holding the “interviews”. Or unless you get interviewed by Jared the useless of them all.Be sure ladies to be ready for questions like “do you pluck your eyebrows” and wait why worry about making a resume or waiting online if you just stand outside and look pretty Dov or his people might just hand you a job. Dont forget to ask for 10 bucks an hour cause you at AA deserve the most.

    And to everyone who says “oh AmericanApparel is the only way to get sweatshop free clothing then why not check out http://www.alternativeapparel.com its the same thing why not support a company that isnt owned by DOV Charney!

    Sweat Shop Free
    We require all manufacturing to comply with the applicable laws and regulations of the localities, states, and countries in which they operate. We visit each factory at least four times a year to monitor production and to insure the quality of life for our employees. We enforce total compliance with local labor laws that include child labor regulations as well as adequate living wages and the most current emergency equipment. Currently, we have manufacturing facilities in five different countries, including the United States. We provide not only employment, but also lifelong job skills to those who are lacking opportunity. We plan to continue to improve the lives of our employees globally and provide a positive and productive work environment.

    “Sweat-shop free has been a marketing tactic used by domestic competitors to mislead buyers that all imports are made in sweat-shops. That is simply not the case. We at Alternative Apparel use only the highest quality factories with the highest skilled employees. We are committed to insuring the well being of our employees.”
    Greg Alterman, President and Designer of Alternative Apparel
    http://www.alternativeapparel.com
    G
    SO Good luck to you all on your quest to join the american dream of American Apparel, talk to you all soon.

    A.C.E

  117. CR

    7/11/2005 at 11:24 am

    Hey! I’ve been working close to Dov for the last 3 years. Yes, he is an eccentric guy who does not follow the conventional path of big corporations… However, it is not his behavior that bothers people. It is the success of his company that creates a hunt for the quick buck by those who had the opportunity to be part of his team and yet were never capable to succeed at his company! By the way: Thank you to the press that loves to publish the negative side of public figures. Dov Charney is a star on the fashion industry! Wow! Meet my boss: He is now a celebrity! I LOVE IT!!!

  118. AcurrentEmployeeAndtheRevolutions

    7/11/2005 at 11:38 am

    oh yeah one more thing…. if Alternative Apparel isnt your cup of tea how about these other comapnies that are sweat shop free and produce organic clothing.

    http://www.nosweatapparel.com/

    You might also want to check out Maggie’s.

    http://www.organicclothes.com/

    cool and dont forget to keep your daily updates with
    http://www.myspace.com/unamericanapparel

    cool.
    A.C.E

  119. no pc

    7/11/2005 at 3:50 pm

    i love when dov comes to the store….. i have biggest crush on him. i dont know what all the fuss is about i wish he would sexually harrass me

  120. nchristina zuleta

    7/11/2005 at 3:53 pm

    although the post was favorable and we love it, it was not written by Dov Charney

  121. ck

    7/11/2005 at 5:25 pm

    – nosweatapparel.com seems like a bunch of good well meaning people. However, their US based suppliers are mostly UNITE shops, UNITE being a union with questionable practices. See comment 107 above. It’s long but well worth reading. They’re honest about what their overseas people get paid – in Indonesia, the average unionized employee gets $110 a month plus benefits. That’s not a typo. $110 a month for a 40 hour work week. In a unionized shop. That’s less than a dollar an hour. Awesome!

    -alternative apparel is a little less forthcoming about wages and wat not but they do claim to be sweatshop free. Their carefully crafted disclaimer sounds like something straight out of a Nike PR office, or like what Kathie Lee Gifford used to say before she got busted. Also they look like a sad imitation of American Apparel, no shortage of nipples and butt cracks here!

    Also I’m pretty sure all the men that work at these companies have at least masturbated, even though they won’t admit it.

    This is all so, so retarded!

  122. Vertically Integrated Culturejamming

    7/11/2005 at 6:44 pm

    CK-

    You continue to gloss over the actual issues raised by Charney’s behavior. Sure, we’ve all masturbated. But the behavior described by AA employees, has by any reasonable measure, created a hostile working environment. You don’t rack up multiple sex harassment charges and a legion of disgruntled ex-employees by being an ethical boss. You have to earn that kind of bad press. Charney has no one to blame but himself.

    Since this is all so retarded to you. Let me ask you if the following statements are also retarded…

    “Turn off the sound on Eyes on the Prize and it looks like a fashion show.”

    “It’s not PC to critique gay sexuality right now. But the heterosexual guy who likes to slap girls on the ass, he’s like a monster. God forbid I was a hermaphrodite – then everyone would shut the fuck up.”

    “Women initiate most domestic violence, yet out of a thousand cases of domestic violence, maybe one is involving a man. And this has made a victim culture out of women.”

    And regarding this last quote: What if a gentile CEO had said this about Jews? That they have a victim culture? Would Jewlicious rush to his defense because he was “upfront” and “kind of unusual?”

    Moreover, if Jewish employees said the aforementioned boss was anti-semitic, would Jewlicious attack their credibility and blow off the controversy?

    Just wondering…

  123. themiddle

    7/11/2005 at 8:10 pm

    If it were me, I would seek more information, especially since it would appear that other employees who think very highly of him have posted under their names and have invited anybody to contact them directly to ask about him.

    I have no idea what ck would do.

    I clicked on one of the links above from one of the disgruntled ex-employees (could be you, I didn’t check) and the first picture I saw was of a young natural-looking model in a tee shirt. So I don’t quite understand the point if all the companies are using the same type of imagery and young sexy women to sell their products.

    Are you saying that a few thousand people should lose their livelihood because you’re pissed off that Charney has sex on the brain?

    That’s what the lawsuits are for, and my guess is he could have resolved them by paying a settlement fee. He chose to fight. If he does lose the lawsuits, he’ll pay a penalty. But you seem intent on a far deeper penalty that affects the entire company. From the posts in this discussion, people posting under their own names seem to disagree very strongly with you. But who knows, maybe they’re just worried they won’t be able to feed their family.

  124. ck

    7/11/2005 at 8:36 pm

    Dear VICJ, you wrote:
    But the behavior described by AA employees, has by any reasonable measure, created a hostile working environment. You don’t rack up multiple sex harassment charges and a legion of disgruntled ex-employees by being an ethical boss. You have to earn that kind of bad press. Charney has no one to blame but himself.

    I dunno VICJ. May I call you VICJ? We’re talking about alleged behavior first of all. Given the litigiousness of the US, and given the hordes of lawyers willing to work on contingency, and given the many AA employees who have stepped forward to rebutt the allegations made by the plaintiffs, and given one claimant’s desire to settle for no less than 10% of AA’s revenues (!!!) isn’t it just as reasonable to contemplate the possibility that the civil cases are in fact the result of opportunistic individuals taking advantage of a CEO’s otherwise benign eccentricities and ill advised transparency?

    I mean look, I stumbled upon this Charney thing nearly a year ago. I’ve had occasion to follow it very closely. The sudden witch hunt atmosphere looks a tad contrived given that it is happenning in tandem with and apparently in anticipation of the civil cases in question. It’s just too coincidental. There was very little buzz for months after the Jane magazine article. Suddenly there was a notable rise in negative buzz and then wham! Civil lawsuits coming out of the woodwork!

    All of a sudden people seem to be methodically seeding message boards and blogs and even myspace with carefully crafted, anonymously posted allegations, parotting those made by the plaintiffs. I look at my logs – I know who’s visiting, and I kind of resent the whole witch hunt atmosphere that is being fostered here.

    But whatever. Not only is the jury still out, it has yet to be convened. I’ll reserve my judgement for when an impartial arbiter looks at the facts and renders a decision. I have also had opportunity to talk at length with Claudine Ko (the writer of the Jane magazine article) factory workers, retail store employees, office staff etc. and I do not have any sense of the existence of a hostile work environment.

    If you’re truly willing to be fair, you have to admit that what I am saying sounds somewhat reasonable. You gotta give me that VICJ, no?

    VICJ continued: Let me ask you if the following statements are also retarded…

    Tea? Price? China? Relevance? Does someone having opinions that differ from your own make them monsters?

    VICJ continues: What if a gentile CEO had said this about Jews? That they have a victim culture? Would Jewlicious rush to his defense because he was “upfront” and “kind of unusual?”

    You obviously do not read this blog very often, or you just used a really bad example. We agree that some Jews wallow in a culture of victimhood, and we really hate it. We think Judaism is about much more than just the holocaust and anti-semitism. But wait, you’re not here for interesting discussions on Jewish identity – you’re here for the non-stop Charney bashing action!

    Or maybe not. Maybe you are in fact a reasonable individual interested solely in Justice and truth and all that. I guess we’ll see, huh?

    Hasta Luego VICJ! Till we meet again!

  125. Vertically Integrated Culturejamming

    7/11/2005 at 11:36 pm

    “We’re talking about alleged behavior first of all.”

    Right, but this isn’t a court of law. Nor is it a newspaper. It’s a forum for the discussion of our subjective opinions. We are still allowed to have those, aren’t we?

    And even if the cases settle out of court, we’ll still each have the right to draw our own conclusions based on the information before us.

    “Given the litigiousness of the US, and given the hordes of lawyers willing to work on contingency, and given the many AA employees who have stepped forward to rebutt the allegations made by the plaintiffs, and given one claimant’s desire to settle for no less than 10% of AA’s revenues (!!!) isn’t it just as reasonable to contemplate the possibility that the civil cases are in fact the result of opportunistic individuals taking advantage of a CEO’s otherwise benign eccentricities and ill advised transparency?”

    Well, I don’t buy your characterization of Charney’s public persona as “benign eccentricity” or “ill advised transparency.” I find the man a sexist, misogynist jerk. That’s based on my reading of his statements and also of his advertising, neither of which are in any dispute by his fans or his detractors.

    That being said, it is possible that the charges are baseless, just as it’s possible that the charges against Michael Jackson (or any other high profile weirdo) are. But that doesn’t mean I can’t judge for myself. And I can still take issue with those things which are not in dispute: namely Charney’s offensive views and his noxious advertising.

    “I mean look, I stumbled upon this Charney thing nearly a year ago. I’ve had occasion to follow it very closely. The sudden witch hunt atmosphere looks a tad contrived given that it is happenning in tandem with and apparently in anticipation of the civil cases in question. It’s just too coincidental. There was very little buzz for months after the Jane magazine article. Suddenly there was a notable rise in negative buzz and then wham! Civil lawsuits coming out of the woodwork!”

    I took an interest in this late last year, after seeing one too many of Charney’s “provocative ads.” I have never worked for AA and don’t know anyone who has. You may see this as some kind of disqualification for my right to an opinion, but I point it out to show you that I have no dog in this fight.

    I’m simply a leftist and a consumer who’s pissed off by Charney’s bullshit advertising and exploitation of his workers. (I’m talking about the sexy uniforms and the photos on the wall, in case you think I’m alluding to stuff that can’t be proven.)

    You call this a “witch hunt” but you ignore that Charney’s whole shtick is very confrontational. He’s challenging “politically correct tribalism,” “feminism” and “the boomers.” He’s a self-styled revolutionary. And he has invited us into his sexual world. He’s fair game. Period.

    “All of a sudden people seem to be methodically seeding message boards and blogs and even myspace with carefully crafted, anonymously posted allegations, parotting those made by the plaintiffs. I look at my logs – I know who’s visiting, and I kind of resent the whole witch hunt atmosphere that is being fostered here.”

    Maybe you should close the discussion or remove the thread. I mean, I’m not sure what your point is. You opened up a discussion which enables people to post anonymously.

    And again, I’d reiterate, I’ve never talked to a single employee, former or current. But I am interested in debating Charney’s very public statements and the ideology of his ads. If you’d prefer that I do not debate them here, fair enough.

    “But whatever. Not only is the jury still out, it has yet to be convened. I’ll reserve my judgement for when an impartial arbiter looks at the facts and renders a decision. I have also had opportunity to talk at length with Claudine Ko (the writer of the Jane magazine article) factory workers, retail store employees, office staff etc. and I do not have any sense of the existence of a hostile work environment.

    If you’re truly willing to be fair, you have to admit that what I am saying sounds somewhat reasonable. You gotta give me that VICJ, no?”

    Yep. But, with all due respect I’m not gonna take your word for it. Nor Claudine Ko’s. If she liked watching Dov jack off, I have a feeling that she and I would diverge on any number of aesthetic and political matters.

    And I think if you’re willing to be fair, you might want to be open to the possibility that opinions and testimony from anonymous ex-employees are still valid as well.

    “Tea? Price? China? Relevance? Does someone having opinions that differ from your own make them monsters?”

    Didn’t call him a monster. I have called him variously a misogynist, a sexist creep and a jerk. But you’re criticizing people for attacking Charney based on unsubstantiated allegations. I’m taking issue with his *on the record* statements. Am I damned if I do, and damned if I don’t?

    “You obviously do not read this blog very often, or you just used a really bad example. We agree that some Jews wallow in a culture of victimhood, and we really hate it. We think Judaism is about much more than just the holocaust and anti-semitism. But wait, you’re not here for interesting discussions on Jewish identity – you’re here for the non-stop Charney bashing action!”

    You’re right. I’m here for the Charney-bashing action, not for the discussions of Jewish identity. But you dodged my question. Would it really be OK for a gentile CEO to say that Jewish people have a victim culture? I didn’t ask you whether it was OK for Jewish people to discuss such topics amongst themselves.

    “Or maybe not. Maybe you are in fact a reasonable individual interested solely in Justice and truth and all that. I guess we’ll see, huh?”

    I don’t know how you’ll measure this. But if you’re as generous with me as you are with Charney, I gotta imagine I’ll come up smelling like roses!

  126. themiddle

    7/12/2005 at 1:26 am

    It appears that leftists like to destroy the livelihood of the lower middle class.

  127. ck

    7/12/2005 at 1:55 am

    Hey VICJ, you wrote:
    Well, I don’t buy your characterization of Charney’s public persona as “benign eccentricity” or “ill advised transparency.” I find the man a sexist, misogynist jerk. That’s based on my reading of his statements and also of his advertising, neither of which are in any dispute by his fans or his detractors.

    With respect to quotes attributed to him, all I can say is that people are entitled to hold and voice their opinions. However, words are cheap as you very well know and can be easily misconstrued.

    You are quick to brand Charney a misogynist, a hater of women, and yet in his 4,000 person enterprise there are many women in positions of authority, and many women who have risen through the ranks. This is somewhat refreshing when compared to the many companies who pay lip service to political correctness, but have very few women in positions of authority.

    And I think if you’re willing to be fair, you might want to be open to the possibility that opinions and testimony from anonymous ex-employees are still valid as well.

    Yes except, see, they’re not that anonymous to me. I run this site. I see the IP addresses that people post from. When one IP address shows up for three different names, or when an IP address belonging to a law firm appears attached to a negative comment, what am I supposed to think exactly? What would you think?

    Look, I am not trying to stifle you or your opinion. And to whatever extent Charney has been involved in impropriety, he ought to be punished – I do have three younger sisters after all. You have already agreed that my take on the situation is a reasonable one, and I commend you for that.

    Now all that’s left is the issue of what, his advertising? Let’s see, why does his advertising NOT offend me? Well, you know that he uses real women – some are employees, some are people he meets on the street and one is a porn star. None of them are professional models. You know what I am talking about right? Those airbrushed 16 year old amazons who weigh on average 23% below what a normal woman would weigh, women who make other women strive for an impossible ideal thus perpetuating and capitalizing on their sense of inadequacy. Yes Charney’s ads are sexy – sex sells and 4000 employees’ livelihoods hang in the balance. You have a better way of marketing underwear, short shorts and tight t-shirts? I think the idea of sexy shots of real women with real bodies, zits and all is actually kinda revolutionary. One needn’t be perfect to be lust inspiring. I urge you to spend a few moments looking at random fashion magazines at your local news stand and then tell me honestly that American Apparel’s ads deserve such intense scrutiny.

    With respect to scrutiny, I don’t think you’re an idiot or an asshole or mean spirited or whatever. I really believe you are sincere and open minded. Does that mean you smell like a rose? Yes, especially if you stop to sincerely contemplate the points I’ve made. I look forward to your response.

    Would it really be OK for a gentile CEO to say that Jewish people have a victim culture?

    As far as I’m concerned, yeah, totally fine. It’s a valid observation, it’s one of the cornerstones of Zionism. Will other Jews take umbrage with such a statement? Probably, you know how those people are with their culture of victimhood!
    😉

  128. themiddle

    7/12/2005 at 2:06 am

    ck, did you get the email with the url? If you did, please respond. If you didn’t…tell me. Also, I have no way of getting in touch with you in the next couple of weeks, so you may wish to include that info in your email. Thanks.

  129. Vertically Integrated Culturejamming

    7/12/2005 at 1:39 pm

    “With respect to quotes attributed to him, all I can say is that people are entitled to hold and voice their opinions. However, words are cheap as you very well know and can be easily misconstrued.”

    Charney’s First Amendment rights have never been in dispute. But if people disagree with his opinions, then they are also free to criticize him and choose not to buy his products. You seem to imply that Charney can spout whatever nonsense he wants without expecting a backlash.

    Besides, Charney has never claimed he was misquoted. If he has since revised his remarks about feminism, domestic violence, etc, I have not seen it published anywhere. I’m not sure how one misconstrues a statement like “Women initiate most domestic violence.”

    “You are quick to brand Charney a misogynist, a hater of women, and yet in his 4,000 person enterprise there are many women in positions of authority, and many women who have risen through the ranks. This is somewhat refreshing when compared to the many companies who pay lip service to political correctness, but have very few women in positions of authority.”

    If there are many women in management positions at AA, that’s great news. Let’s see the figures.

    “Yes except, see, they’re not that anonymous to me. I run this site. I see the IP addresses that people post from. When one IP address shows up for three different names, or when an IP address belonging to a law firm appears attached to a negative comment, what am I supposed to think exactly? What would you think?”

    Yeah, but these complaints aren’t just appearing on Jewlicious. They’re on other sites. They’re in newspaper articles and on Myspace. They’re also the subject of a court case. I doubt they can all be traced to one or two people and a few IP addresses. You’ve only got your logs to glean from, CK.

    “Look, I am not trying to stifle you or your opinion. And to whatever extent Charney has been involved in impropriety, he ought to be punished – I do have three younger sisters after all. You have already agreed that my take on the situation is a reasonable one, and I commend you for that.”

    I’ve allowed for the possibility that this is a frivolous lawsuit and that Charney is blameless. It’s reasonable. It’s possible. I just don’t think it’s likely.

    “Now all that’s left is the issue of what, his advertising? Let’s see, why does his advertising NOT offend me? Well, you know that he uses real women – some are employees, some are people he meets on the street and one is a porn star. None of them are professional models. You know what I am talking about right? Those airbrushed 16 year old amazons who weigh on average 23% below what a normal woman would weigh, women who make other women strive for an impossible ideal thus perpetuating and capitalizing on their sense of inadequacy. Yes Charney’s ads are sexy – sex sells and 4000 employees’ livelihoods hang in the balance. You have a better way of marketing underwear, short shorts and tight t-shirts? I think the idea of sexy shots of real women with real bodies, zits and all is actually kinda revolutionary. One needn’t be perfect to be lust inspiring. I urge you to spend a few moments looking at random fashion magazines at your local news stand and then tell me honestly that American Apparel’s ads deserve such intense scrutiny.”

    This reminds me a bit of that line from Spinal Tap, when the band is informed that their album cover has been accused of sexism. Nigel cluelessly asks: “What’s wrong with being sexy?” The problem ain’t eroticism. It’s sexism.

    You tell me these ads are no different (in fact, far better) than ones found in fashion mags. Really?

    Here’s a recent AA ad: a young woman looks directly into the camera. Her lower lip is being held open by a man’s thumb. The text reads “Now Open.”

    Quick, what is this ad saying? And what is the presence of Dov’s thumb holding the mouth open meant to imply? If you can come up with an interpretation that doesn’t involve Charney’s dick in the model’s mouth, please share it with me!

    And how about that Lauren Phoenix ad? Look at the photos which are inset on the left-hand side:

    http://www.americanapparel.net/presscenter/ads/laurenphoenix.html

    Lauren Phoenix is having an orgasm, no? You’re telling me that this is par for the course in advertising?

    And while we’re on the subject, how about the recent ads which depict the “winner” of a “wet t-shirt contest” in the “company apartment?” Is it unreasonable for us to conclude that there’s a hostile working environment at AA, when their own ads depict company-sponsored wet t-shirt contests? Can you think of a situation where it would be a good idea for the boss to hold wet t-shirt contests with his employees on company property?

    Be honest. We’re dealing with advertising that celebrates the lack of sexual boundaries between management and staff at AA.

    Charney is using these confrontational ads to stir up controversy! His site even calls them “provocative.” But when they provoke a reaction, I’m supposed to just act as if they’re no different (in fact, far better) than other fashion ads? You can’t have it both ways. You can’t push the envelope and stir up controversy and then claim that what you’re doing is no big deal.

    Yes, the models in AA’s ads are more realistic, but most of them are still very skinny by any reasonable measure. And some of them, besides the aforementioned Ms. Phoenix are professional models. The “real woman” aesthetic, in the end, being just another marketing pose.

    And I haven’t even gotten to my principal objection to AA’s ads, which is how all the righteous text trumpeting the company’s socially-responsible business practices relates to the images. How am I to swallow rhetoric like “Taking on the system one t-shirt at a time” while I’m staring at a teenage girl’s crotch? What do the words “American Apparel is capitalism- working” mean when juxtaposed with a woman bending over with her ass in the air?

    To answer your question: The reason I’m not bothered by most fashion advertising is that it’s not geared toward me and my friends. It’s found in fashion mags. AA’s ads, on the other hand, are everywhere that young liberals go. They’re found on the back of lefty publications and on KCRW and on hip websites. If you live in LA and have your eyes open, it’s almost impossible not to be confronted with AA’s advertising on a daily basis. These ads are an insult to my intelligence as a consumer and as a person with political convictions. They’re a deeply cynical attempt to push my buttons and jam my political radar.

    And finally, as for the accusation that critics of AA would like to see decent working folks out of a job, I can only say that no company is above criticism. I believe that AA could live up to its hype if Charney would put his dick in his pants and respect the intelligence of his audience and the dignity of his workers. The fate of his workers ultimately rests with him, not his critics. Period.

  130. A.C.E.and the Revolutions

    7/12/2005 at 5:55 pm

    Amen!

  131. DOV

    7/12/2005 at 6:04 pm

    I just wanted to say hello to all my fellow employees and hello to those who left…to the rest hello and hello some more. This is all great to watch but the matter is, that, this is just one web page, and that means nothing.Please my workers love me, i love them and for all of you who ,seem to not deal then leave, or lets talk. Really lets talk. you have my phone number and if not call Dixie or Alanna and talk to me. Better yet here 1-213-xxx-xxxx.If it matters to so many people then CK or CultureJamming, please leave me a voice message.

    Thanks.

    Ed. Note: I have never, ever banned anyone from Jewlicious, but I am seriously getting tired of having to x out private phone numbers from your posts. Please refrain from doing that again, please. This is a public forum and you can say whatever you like but at this point, you’re being kind of an asshole. For the record (again) this is not Dov Charney’s post, it is ACE and the Revolutions.

  132. themiddle

    7/12/2005 at 6:48 pm

    🙄

    Thanks, Dov A.C.E.

  133. A.C.E.and the Revolutions

    7/13/2005 at 12:08 pm

    get the fuck over it everyone! how do you even know its even his fucking phone number anyway!
    Maybe for a change he’s enjoing the fucking harassment for a change. Stop fucking calling people at 4am in the morning asshole. We arent that fucking dedicated, we dont care about your american dream. If he has the right to exploit our images, and use our own numbers for his own purposes then why cant we. And plus thats what he gets in giving his phone number out.
    All i have to say TheMiddle is stop being so sensitive and on Sr. Dov Charneys side. How do you know whos really him, whats really his number and god for bid i am going to be Banned from this web page, who the fuck cares! I am faceless, careless and really just having fun.Why not erase this whole matter to begin with. And obviously it was me who posted (look at the time it was posted)And as for phone numbers there are much more where these came from…a threat,no, just the truth. As a company dont we all have the right to just call up the owner and speak our mind.

    so with all said:
    As a Jew to a Jew fuck you, fuck AA and fuck this hipster web page.

    Erase my name and i will create another. I havent had this much fun during a lunch break since Jr.High.

    A.C.E

  134. ck

    7/13/2005 at 12:25 pm

    Yo ACE,
    1. I know it’s his phone number because I called it
    2. I don’t mind you having fun, just not at my expense. I didn’t tell you to shut up, just not to post a phone number. You went ahead and posted it 3 more times. That’s annoying and I’m glad you seem to be over that.

    3. You asked how do we know who is who? Every time you comment, you leave behind a traceable IP address. We know where you’re connecting to the Internet from and can thus identify you regardless of the nick name you use. Just so you know, that’s all.

    “So with all said,” I’m glad you’re having fun and all but you do not help your cause by being unduly belligerent. It seems you never really left Junior High.

    PS: We’re a hipster Web site? Heh. Cool. FUCK US! Ha ha ha. Hang on, lemme swing my ball cap over a little to the left. Shwing!

  135. Liz

    7/13/2005 at 2:59 pm

    Ok…just in case your readers aren’t sick to death about hearing Dov Chearney babble, I’d like to add a little perspective from my experience in the apparel industry. Dov is a master of exploitation as evidenced in the law suits that he’s embroiled in…exploiting underlings for sexual gratification. What I’d like the world to know is that he also exploits the truth when he says that through his benevolence he has gone outside the norm to create a sweatshop free work environment. Anyone doing business in Los Angels or CA for that matter knows that it is impossible to run a manufacturing business with sweatshop conditions. You’d be closed down and fined so fast it would make your head spin as fast as the spin Dove put out there to make himself look like the great guy he’s not. As far as the wages he pays his workers, it is completely commensurate with the standard in the industry for this type of skilled labor. Like I said, the only thing that Dov is a master at is exploitation.

  136. shut up

    7/13/2005 at 4:00 pm

    YAWN…

    How insightful and jammed packed with facts.

  137. grandmuffti

    7/13/2005 at 4:10 pm

    Liz, Muffti thought that the point was not that he didn’t produce units in sweatshops in LA, but that he didn’t produce clothes in sweatshops at all when he well could take his manufacturing to places where sweatshops are the norm. Given the widespread practice of using extremely cheap labour in exploitable countries, the innovation is supposed to be that it’s produced in LA with no use of sweatshops in ohter countries where no one will shut you down and dissidents are hung or imprisoned.

    Maybe Muffti missed your point.

  138. Liz

    7/13/2005 at 5:56 pm

    Not everyone uses the Walmart formula for doing business. Los Angeles is home to many clothing manufacturers. There are as many sound reasons for manufacuring on shore as there are off shore. Dov’s claim was that his sweatshop free practices were unique to LA. That’s simply crap and another exploitation of the truth.

  139. shut up

    7/13/2005 at 8:31 pm

    “There *is* a sweatshop at American Apparel. It’s just not in the factory. It’s in the retail stores!” -Vertically Integrated CultureJamming

    HAHAHHAHAHAHHAHAHHAHA.

    Please say that you are kidding me. You are actually going to try to liken the experiences of a middle-upper middle class hipster to that of an immigrant sewing operator? How insulting and narrow-minded can you get? Get a clue.

  140. thais

    7/13/2005 at 9:43 pm

    the problem is that american apparel concepts are too complex fot this small, selfshif and dirty minds.

    employee.
    please go back and ready what tasha said. she is on the right track.

  141. thais

    7/14/2005 at 6:45 am

    ops!
    sorry i said read, not ready

  142. A.C.EandtheRevolutions

    7/14/2005 at 11:13 am

    Middle upper class eh? i dont see my mother and daddy helping me, i dont see myself affording college, you know i dont even see my self able to work at AA and hold down a 5 person shared apt. You know its sad when you work, are sexually abused, put through constant bullshit with no means people A.K.A managers from other countries, other states.. all to keep my $9.00 hr/ 10 hr pay. Where are my fucking massages, where are my english classes, fuck i dont see Dov fucking his factory workers, and shit i rather work at the factory then his retail stores.
    People who work retail arent usually of Upper Middle class, because they get Careers and real fucking jobs. People who work in uneducated jobs like AA usually can’t get something a bit more worth wild where a degree or expereince is needed. Oh but thank you Dov for looking past education and expereince and hiring me cause at least im good looking. With out Dov id be where, working at another retail store folding shirts, oh but at least at AA i get myself positive self esteem. With all that maybe now i will feel strong enough to move on up to a job as a stripper, yeah!

  143. themiddle

    7/14/2005 at 11:27 am

    Hey, ACE, bummer about the filter catching that long post with all the phone numbers, huh? 😉

  144. laya

    7/14/2005 at 11:35 am

    ACE & R, I’m sorry, but i don’t understand why you are working at AA if you hate it so much when you could just go apply at the Gap or JCPenny, maybe?

  145. themiddle

    7/14/2005 at 11:37 am

    Cuz they’d pay her/him less. 😆

  146. A.C.EandtheRevolutions

    7/14/2005 at 12:13 pm

    Hey i didnt ask to work there i was found in the street and asked. And plus im to pretty to work at the Gap or JCPenny…Laya so why are you at AA?

  147. A.C.EandtheRevolutions

    7/14/2005 at 12:19 pm

    12139237943 Dov Charney

  148. A.C.EandtheRevolutions

    7/14/2005 at 12:20 pm

    12139237943 Dov Charney !

  149. A.C.EandtheRevolutions

    7/14/2005 at 12:20 pm

    12139237943 Dov Charney!!!!

  150. A.C.EandtheRevolutions

    7/14/2005 at 12:20 pm

    12139237943 Dov Charney!!!!!!!!!!

  151. A.C.EandtheRevolutions

    7/14/2005 at 12:21 pm

    12139237943 Dov Charney!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  152. A.C.EandtheRevolutions

    7/14/2005 at 12:22 pm

    yawn. wow you get me right after i post its amamzing how you dont have a life, themiddle.

  153. A.C.EandtheRevolutions

    7/14/2005 at 12:22 pm

    12139237943 Dov Charney!!!!!!!!!!!!

  154. A.C.EandtheRevolutions

    7/14/2005 at 12:23 pm

    and shit AA does pay more, im getting paid right as we speak.

  155. themiddle

    7/14/2005 at 12:31 pm

    Correct, ACE, I have no life. Bitter much?

  156. ck

    7/14/2005 at 12:43 pm

    Heh. I actually just spoke to Dov. He said to leave the phone number up and that if any employee or anyone with any issues wants to talk to him, that they should go right ahead. I’ve never seen a CEO do THAT before. Say what you will, dude’s got balls.

    ACE? I’m not even going to delete your repetitive posts. I think they speak volumes about your level of intelligence and do your stated cause a great disservice. BTW, Laya does not work for AA. She lives in Jerusalem and is blogs for our little site here. Have a nice day loser. 🙂

  157. grandmuffti

    7/14/2005 at 3:40 pm

    Liz,

    Muffti thinks the claim was that he was one of the few companies of a certain size that makes everything in LA. (Muffti isn’t sure AA ever claimed to be the ONLY company to do so.) You are right that given shipping costs, etc., there are lots of good reasons to open in LA, and AA execs were fairly forthright about that. And, yeah, perhaps saying that you are sweatshop free in an ideal world where no one opens sweatshops would look like bragging about stuff yo should do anyways (like if Muffti asks for props for not killing anyone today, etc.) However, since we don’t live in an ideal world, and people care about whether or not their clothes were made in sweatshops, it seems perfectly appropriate to assure you customer base that the clothing was made by employees in non-sweatshop environments.

  158. laya

    7/14/2005 at 5:54 pm

    ACE & R- ahh, I understand now, they found you on the street and forced you into it. You poor thing! They really do have to stop those well paid forced labor situations. Shame JCPenny wont hire hire cause you’re too good looking, apparently. Have you looked into a career in waitressing maybe? If you can manage to run away from your captors there at AA that is.

  159. I call bullshit

    7/14/2005 at 9:27 pm

    Just in case you do go to unAmerican Apparel for your facts and since they censor anything that is not in line with their feeble revolution, lets clear one thing up.

    American Apparel does not have a factory operating in Mexico.
    In an article that is currently posted on the AA web site, there is mention of a location in Ensenada that once was part of AA’s beginnings.

    However if you look at the date, you see that it was written in 2000. During that time, a small portion of AA’s production was done in Mexico. Shortly thereafter all of the operations were moved into the factory in the US. Obviously AA is not trying to hide the truth. The information was pulled from their own site.

    An article in the New York Times written by Linda Baker and dated December 14, 2003 proves that AA had left Mexico and now are functioning completely in the US:

    “Another company, American Apparel, based in Los Angeles, does it by including in its catalog a photographic essay of immigrant sewers and cutters at work. The company, five years old, now has all of its production in the United States. After moving a factory from Mexico to Los Angeles two years ago, the company began promoting its T-shirts as sweatshop free.”

    So to set the record straight. The people on the myspace page are once again contorting the truth.

  160. niiinah

    7/15/2005 at 5:29 pm

    Last years’ Magic tradeshow in Las Vegas: Dov decided that he would let 16 employees cram themselves into one of the two vans that were supposed to transport us from the hotel to the convention center so he could get a blow job in the other van from one of the lovely employees.. Meet Mallory. She did nothing at tradeshow, but walk around and smoke cigarettes. And she was an asset to AA how??

    I don’t give a flying fuck if Dov is fucking impressionable young girls, but he needs to show the employees that he’s got fucking some respect.

  161. erik-christopher seidenglanz

    7/17/2005 at 5:45 am

    i was homless before american apperal gave me a job. i believe dov charney 100 percent right on with his views on sexuality. and so does annie sprinkle. and i bet abby hoffmen would champion him too , as he is featured in oui! magazine.
    just remember kids. a meme is a meme is a meme is a meme and the meuduim is the message.
    caio for now brown cows.
    http://www.seahorseliberationarmy.com

    btw

    i love my job. it is the best thing to happen to me in years.
    its completely fun and my coworkers are rad.
    i hope most of the world would just lighten up.
    unbutton your mind and unzip your fly.
    johhny guitar wears american apperal.

  162. erik-christopher seidenglanz

    7/17/2005 at 6:05 am

    i maybe cant spell, but this is a class war not a sex war. and retail does not equal uneduacated. i have a mfa and have been to 3 major programs. primarlly the new genres department at san francisco art institute. job= resources= dymaxion= dynamic maximum.
    long live buckminster fuller and american apperal

  163. erik-christopher seidenglanz

    7/17/2005 at 6:08 am

    when the going gets werid the weird go pro.

    hunter s. thompson

    quoted from american aperal instore pamphlet

  164. embryo

    7/18/2005 at 11:32 pm

    It’s clear from CK’s lack of a response to my above questions about comments from disgruntled employees that he removed above that CK is now working for Dov Charney or is for some reason attempting to cover up the truth about his operations. I suggest that someone mirror this post somewhere where further tampering cannot occur.

  165. ck

    7/19/2005 at 6:28 am

    Uh oh. Busted! Because as you can see there are absolutely no negative comments on this page at all. And usually I answer all questions sent to me immediately! So yes, please someone mirror this! And in the meantime, Mr. Charney sir? This is all getting out of hand! Please tell me what to do!!

    On the other hand, I really enjoy knowmore.org. Try not to be too paranoid embryo. This is afterr all just a blog, not the New York Times.

  166. Becca

    7/19/2005 at 10:03 am

    Dov is a slimmy little maggot that has built his business on the decaying human spirit of the underdog. He hires people that are weak so he can exploit them. Anyone wishing to build a stong business knows that you look for people more talented than ones self because they bring more to the table. Dov loves the power he holds over his workers and is a complete asshole to work for. Since your probably going to read this Dov, maybe you should masturbate for everyone in court. It’s your right isn’t it?

  167. embryo

    7/19/2005 at 10:14 am

    CK, I returned your email, thanks for getting in touch.

    There have been some comments since my original post, but the ones at the top that have provoked conversation and consternation are gone, and that was suspect and unfortunate, as I expressed to you in my email. I’m not paranoid, but clearly the truth is hard to sort out in this instance and it’s especially hard to tell what the balance is when it seems to have been tampered with. I just think it’d be good to clarify the record, as you have offered.

  168. ck

    7/19/2005 at 11:32 am

    embryo – as I shared with you in our emails, I had reason to believe that the messages in question were not worthy of retention. I did not want to prejudice the otherwise legitimate dialogue but those comments, based on their IP addresses and based on other things, were clearly by any reasonable standard, not motivated by the desire to advance the discussion but rather were motivated by the advancement of a pecuniary interest. I am not going to release the IP addresses involved but like I said, I’m not dumb and if you are going to plant stuff, at least do it in a way that doesn’t insult my intelligence. In all other respects the discussion continues unabated. So will you now retract that thing about me working for AA? Sheesh.

    There are other comments I deleted too. One mentioned a person by name and stated that that person had sexual intercourse with Dov Charney. The person in question called me and asked me to please remove the allegation as it was untrue and it would upset her parents. After chatting with her for a bit I deleted the comment. Would a journalist have done that? Did I ask for hard evidence that she didn’t in fact sleep with Charney? No. But I took it down anyway because I felt it was the right thing to do. The other comments were just blatant. Have you noticed that the people who made those comments never challenged the deletions? I think it’s because they know, and they know I know, and if pushed I may not be so discrete.

    Hope that answers your questions.

  169. embryo

    7/19/2005 at 12:19 pm

    Thank you for addressing the questions at hand, ck. I apologize for suggesting that you are being paid by AA.

  170. themiddle

    7/19/2005 at 12:21 pm

    Can I get paid by AA for all this free publicity?

  171. zzzzzz

    7/19/2005 at 7:19 pm

    Don’t we all have better things to do?

  172. Vertically Integrated Culturejamming

    7/20/2005 at 4:48 pm

    Yes, apparently some of us do…

    http://losangeles.cacophony.org/current.htm

  173. themiddle

    7/20/2005 at 5:05 pm

    Where’d you get that image, VIC?

  174. Vertically Integrated Culturejamming

    7/20/2005 at 6:51 pm

    I don’t know the source of the image. I found this announcement by doing a Google search.

  175. themiddle

    7/20/2005 at 7:07 pm

    You should Google “Jew Tax.”

    For that matter, you might also want to Google “Vertically Integrated Culturejamming.”

  176. ck

    7/20/2005 at 8:23 pm

    I dunno. That image is awfully exploitative VIC. But do let us know how the protest went!

  177. Pingback: Jewlicious » Adventures in Charneyland II

  178. Vertically Integrated Culturejamming

    7/20/2005 at 11:34 pm

    I’ve already Googled myself thanks. I didn’t make the image in question. (Anything I might make would be far more convincing.) But in any case you’re pretending not to understand the difference between exploitative advertising and pointed satire (however lame or obvious that satire might be.)

    CK, you never responded to my last jeremiad, so I trust there isn’t much debate left for us to have.

    And since you’re so fond of trumpeting both your command of the access logs and your cozy relationship with Mr. Charney, I trust you’ll be turning over my IP address to him any day now.

  179. ck

    7/21/2005 at 1:52 am

    Oh please Vic. I don’t release IP addresses to anyone but law enforcement officers armed with a warrant. As far as your last screed, seriously dude, oir dudette, I don’t live on this blog. I may have intended to respond but really, go talk to the man yourself. You have his phone number, it’s on this blog! But whatever, let’s see what you wrote that I didn’t respond to that now has you saying that I’m gonna rat you out to Charney…

    (10 minutes later)

    Holy! Aw man… ok, I’ll respond …

    If there are many women in management positions at AA, that’s great news. Let’s see the figures.

    Perhaps that’s something that you’re better off getting from AA but off the top of my head I know the person in charge of Canada is a woman, the person in charge of customer support is a woman and one of the two heads of the graphics department is a woman. For more detailed figures you’ll just have to call that number.

    Yeah, but these complaints aren’t just appearing on Jewlicious. They’re on other sites. They’re in newspaper articles and on Myspace. They’re also the subject of a court case. I doubt they can all be traced to one or two people and a few IP addresses. You’ve only got your logs to glean from, CK.

    You’re absolutely right. But when you type Dov Charney in Google #3 is Jewlicious. We’re also the only place that quoted from the Jane article. Everyone and anyone interested in Dov Charney has been to this site – the plaintiffs in the suit, the law firms, Business Week, the New York Times, Jane Magazine, Rolling Stone magazine, I can go on and on. This is the biggest American Apparel / Dov Charney interactive forum on the Internet. Over 20,000 different IPs have hit this page this month alone. Seriously don’t minimize what I tell you. But don’t take my word for it. In fact let me make it easy for you. Look at posts numbers 27 to 30. We see no posts for three months and then all of a sudden, a flurry of posts. Now lets see… what was happenning in June thats AA related? Hmmm … I’ll let you figure it out – and you do not need to have access to my log files see what I am hinting at.

    I’ve allowed for the possibility that this is a frivolous lawsuit and that Charney is blameless. It’s reasonable. It’s possible. I just don’t think it’s likely.

    Well you choose to base your opinion on pending lawsuits, a man’s opinions, ads that you find offensive and unsubstantiated and often innaccurate Internet chatter. That’s cool. At least you concede the possibility that you might be wrong. OK, time will tell I guess.

    Lauren Phoenix is having an orgasm, no? You’re telling me that this is par for the course in advertising?

    No. It’s tame. Seriously NIC, I urge you to look at fashion ads in Vogue or Cosmo or anywhere. And you totally haven’t addressed the beauty myth issues. And a woman in the throes of ecstacy is not something I find offensive (have you seen this month’s wired magazine story on a female viagra? Check it out at a news stand – a good 36 pics of women in the midst of orgasm. You find that what? Ugly?

    The Wet T-Shirt contest Ad depicted a winner of a wet t-shirt contest at the company apartment. Nowhere does it say that the model works for AA or that the contest was one open to AA employees. Its a joke, meant to be evocative of a crazy night out. Don’t you think if there was in fact an AA sponsored Wet t-shirt contest we’d have heard about it by now?

    Be honest. We’re dealing with advertising that celebrates the lack of sexual boundaries between management and staff at AA.

    Oh my. That’s reading a lot into an ad. What you’re saying is that a CEO of a $350 million company is using his advertising campaigns to encourage his employees to have sex with management? That’s remarkable! Seriously though, are you serious?

    I think what makes the ads provocative and controversial is that these men and women are not super models and yet they are all in there own way sexy. Thats what i find is provocative. That goes counter to every single ad everywhere else in the fashion business, except for maybe the early columbia ads that featured their grandmother. But I digress. What other professional models has AA used? Porn Stars notwithstanding? yes some are thin and some aren’t but none are the impossibly beautiful women featured in most ads, the women that project a perfect and totally unattainable standard leaving women in a state or perpetual insecurity. Look at all the women starving themselves, barfing out their dinner, cutting themselves and otherwise suffering greatly because of this false ideal. Why don’t you worry about them? Please tell me Ms. Phoenix represents such an impossible standard and please tell me which AA model is a professional, agency model.

    And now you’re upset because AA rightly points out that they treat their workers very fairly, that they are manufacturing in the US when no one else is, that they advertise in and support hip papers and web sites (cuz its cheaper). Using your impossibly high standards, the only people that could advertise there would be like… uh, Mother theresa, but she’s dead. Or Ralph Nader (but he has no fashion sense). Maybe we can get Noam Chomsky to start a line of uhm, cool, lefty hipster clothing made by seamstresses in a Nicaraguan Collective who get paid a fair wage by North American Standards ($35,000 a year?) and this company would advertise using only pics of clothes hangers and no actual models. or better yet,a sort of rainbow coalition of models, male, female, young, old, fat, whatever and these models would get the same salary as agency models. Each Chomsky shirt would make a brave statement about how truly hip you are and would cost about $5 (to be fair). 5 minutes later, when the Chomsky shirt company goes totally bankrupt, well at least you can say you were there at the begining.

    Man, I don’t know what you want.

  180. themiddle

    7/21/2005 at 1:58 am

    I believe it’s time for more pics now.

  181. Vertically Integrated Culturejamming

    7/21/2005 at 3:41 am

    “Oh please Vic. I don’t release IP addresses to anyone but law enforcement officers armed with a warrant.”

    That’s reassuring. I’ll take you at your word.

    You should at least consider where a person could get the wrong idea. I mean, you chat with Dov on the phone. He donates to your charity. You take a press tour of his company and (shockingly) find that he doesn’t sexually harass anyone during your entire visit. One *could* get the idea that you’re sympathetic to Charney. Maybe even a shill. Even Matthew Cooper rolled over on his anonymous source. And he writes for Time.

    “As far as your last screed, seriously dude, oir dudette, I don’t live on this blog. I may have intended to respond but really, go talk to the man yourself. You have his phone number, it’s on this blog!”

    No thanks. I appreciate that he’s making himself so accessible. But I don’t have any interest in talking to him. I’m sure I’d find him charming and misunderstood and all that jazz, but Charney already has a hell of a megaphone. Between his ads, his stores and his press appearances, I’m getting an earful and an eyeful of his ideas.

    “Perhaps that’s something that you’re better off getting from AA but off the top of my head I know the person in charge of Canada is a woman, the person in charge of customer support is a woman and one of the two heads of the graphics department is a woman. For more detailed figures you’ll just have to call that number.”

    Admittedly I haven’t met any of Charney’s female managers. But on the frontlines of his revolution, I do see plenty of Charney’s female retail employees. They’re required to wear skimpy shorts and forbidden to wear underwire bras on the job. (That’s not a rumor, that’s policy.) Their pictures are plastered all over the walls, interspersed with vintage porn mags. I have a pretty good idea how I’m supposed to view the women Charney has staffing his retail stores. It’s not as powerful equals. It’s as sexually-available eyecandy. The stores increasingly resemble a hipster variation on Hooters.

    “You’re absolutely right. But when you type Dov Charney in Google #3 is Jewlicious. We’re also the only place that quoted from the Jane article.”

    Ironic, isn’t it? AA’s site has a comprehensive press page, but the Jane article didn’t make the cut. So much for Charney’s “transparent” and “upfront” persona.

    “Everyone and anyone interested in Dov Charney has been to this site – the plaintiffs in the suit, the law firms, Business Week, the New York Times, Jane Magazine, Rolling Stone magazine, I can go on and on. This is the biggest American Apparel / Dov Charney interactive forum on the Internet. Over 20,000 different IPs have hit this page this month alone. Seriously don’t minimize what I tell you. But don’t take my word for it. In fact let me make it easy for you. Look at posts numbers 27 to 30. We see no posts for three months and then all of a sudden, a flurry of posts. Now lets see… what was happenning in June thats AA related? Hmmm … I’ll let you figure it out – and you do not need to have access to my log files see what I am hinting at.”

    First of all, congratulations! Jewlicious is a new media success story. It’s precisely because your site affords anonymity to folks like me that the “old media” comes here for research!

    That being said, I’d encourage you to do a little more Googling. There’s a *grassroots* response brewing against Charney’s bullshit. Check out the blogs. These aren’t Gloria Allred’s PR staff. They’re young people who have taken a heaping helping of Charney’s shit and decided to speak out. Most of them aren’t anonymous.

    And say what you want about the kids at myspace, but the Unamerican Apparel profile is pushing 600 friends. That doesn’t seem like a conspiracy to me. It seems like a trend. Soon the old media will have plenty better places to go for research than Jewlicious.

    “Well you choose to base your opinion on pending lawsuits, a man’s opinions, ads that you find offensive and unsubstantiated and often innaccurate Internet chatter. That’s cool. At least you concede the possibility that you might be wrong. OK, time will tell I guess.”

    The cases may very well settle out of court. Time may not “tell” us anything. Do court cases decide the truth about anything? Did Michael Jackson molest little boys? Did OJ Kill his wife? We’ll all still have to use our commonsense. My commonsense tells me that Charney is a creep who sexually harasses his staff. My evidence is right in front of my eyes. Not buried in the documents of a civil case.

    You say that I’ve drawn my conclusions from Charney’s opinions as if that were a trifling matter. Historian David Irving thinks the Holocaust didn’t happen. Just one man’s opinion, right? I shouldn’t jump to any conclusions about his behavior. He probably loves Jewish people.

    Give me a break. When Charney says that “women initiate most domestic violence,” he’s giving us a window into his behavior towards women. The man is very stupid to think he can say such things without expecting a backlash. Or…worse…he actually believes them. Which do you choose, CK?

    “No. It’s tame. Seriously NIC, I urge you to look at fashion ads in Vogue or Cosmo or anywhere.”

    No thanks. I choose to respond to ads which are directed toward my demographic. (I don’t, for instance, waste my time getting huffy about the aesthetics of Republican fundraising pitches.) Judging from how often I see his ads, I’d gather I’m in Dov’s target market.

    “And you totally haven’t addressed the beauty myth issues. And a woman in the throes of ecstacy is not something I find offensive (have you seen this month’s wired magazine story on a female viagra? Check it out at a news stand – a good 36 pics of women in the midst of orgasm. You find that what? Ugly?”

    If you’re going to invoke the “beauty myth” you might solicit an opinion from Naomi Wolf. I’m sure she’ll give you a glowing appraisal of AA’s ads! If you can’t get her on the phone (maybe she only talks to the “old media”), you may wish to visit the feminist blogs which are having a field day with AA’s ads. Hmmm… they must have missed all of the subtle cues that Charney’s ads are actually challenging the beauty myth!

    But seriously, I love to see women orgasm. Who doesn’t? Just not sure I want to see it in an ad for tube socks. And socially-responsible tube socks at that!

    Can’t you see why many people consider these ads just a wee bit crass?

    “The Wet T-Shirt contest Ad depicted a winner of a wet t-shirt contest at the company apartment. Nowhere does it say that the model works for AA or that the contest was one open to AA employees. Its a joke, meant to be evocative of a crazy night out. Don’t you think if there was in fact an AA sponsored Wet t-shirt contest we’d have heard about it by now?”

    Yeah, but we’d probably have heard about it from on of those anonymous, unreliable, disgruntled ex-employees. You can’t trust them. No matter how many of them seem to crop up!

    “Oh my. That’s reading a lot into an ad. What you’re saying is that a CEO of a $350 million company is using his advertising campaigns to encourage his employees to have sex with management? That’s remarkable! Seriously though, are you serious?”

    I’m saying that Dov’s ads are like men’s room graffiti. They appear to brag about his sexual conquest of particular women. You neglect to mention that Dov does most of the photography (and is featured in many of the ads) and that he openly boasts about sleeping with his models and with his employees. Therefore, I can only conclude that Dov is inviting me into his bedroom. That’s not “reading a lot” into anything. I’m hearing the man. Loud and clear. He fucked that hot chick. Way to go Dov!

    “I think what makes the ads provocative and controversial is that these men and women are not super models and yet they are all in there own way sexy. Thats what i find is provocative.”

    Yeah I know. They’re all “real” women. Spare me. Seriously. I know plenty of real women who wouldn’t make the cut. This is all marketing. And it’s obviously working. We’re talking about it.

    “What other professional models has AA used? Porn Stars notwithstanding?”

    Well he’s used two known porn stars. As for men, there’s “fortunate” Glenn. He of the big cock, featured in Playgirl. As for other pro models, I’d rather not say. I’m sure this makes me a rumor monger, but I do know of at least one other professional model in Dov’s employ. Identifying her compromises my anonymity, which you’ve probably gathered, is important to me.

    “yes some are thin”

    ALL of them are thin. Don’t bullshit me.

    “and some aren’t but none are the impossibly beautiful women featured in most ads, the women that project a perfect and totally unattainable standard leaving women in a state or perpetual insecurity. Look at all the women starving themselves, barfing out their dinner, cutting themselves and otherwise suffering greatly because of this false ideal. Why don’t you worry about them?”

    I do worry about them. But I don’t know a single serious person who thinks that American Apparel’s advertising counters the oppressive standards of the female body image. AA’s ads deserve scrutiny precisely becuase they traffick in this lie.

    “And now you’re upset because AA rightly points out that they treat their workers very fairly, that they are manufacturing in the US when no one else is,”

    I’ve got a problem with ads which juxtapose this righteous text against camel-toed crotch shots and heroin-chic, dead-eyed young girls. The dissonance between such political jargon and such disturbing imagery is jarring!

    “that they advertise in and support hip papers and web sites (cuz its cheaper).”

    $350 million company. Not because it’s cheaper. Because that’s their target audience.

    “Using your impossibly high standards, the only people that could advertise there would be like… uh, Mother theresa, but she’s dead. Or Ralph Nader (but he has no fashion sense). Maybe we can get Noam Chomsky to start a line of uhm, cool, lefty hipster clothing made by seamstresses in a Nicaraguan Collective who get paid a fair wage by North American Standards ($35,000 a year?) and this company would advertise using only pics of clothes hangers and no actual models. or better yet,a sort of rainbow coalition of models, male, female, young, old, fat, whatever and these models would get the same salary as agency models. Each Chomsky shirt would make a brave statement about how truly hip you are and would cost about $5 (to be fair). 5 minutes later, when the Chomsky shirt company goes totally bankrupt, well at least you can say you were there at the begining.”

    Well, that’s a mildly-funny strawman argument. I like your idea about ads which feature people of diverse body types and backgrounds. There’s the seed of a truly revolutionary marketing campaign in there somewhere! But seriously, I’m not trying to set an impossible standard for ethical, leftist capitalism. I’m simply reacting to Charney’s load of bullshit.

    “Man, I don’t know what you want.”

    And I repeat. Drop the bullshit advertising. Make your retail stores comfortable for female employees. Respect the intelligence of your consumers. That’s what I want. He does want my money, right?

  182. themiddle

    7/21/2005 at 11:44 am

    I’m sorry, VIC, but at this point the effort you have put into this discussion just doesn’t make you seem like an innocent bystander.

  183. Vertically Integrated Culturejamming

    7/21/2005 at 1:21 pm

    “I’m sorry, VIC, but at this point the effort you have put into this discussion just doesn’t make you seem like an innocent bystander.”

    You’re right. I’m actually working for Gloria Allred. That shyster hasn’t even sent me my check yet!

    But seriously, not sure what you mean to insinuate by “innocent” bystander. I make no secret that I dislike American Apparel nor that I am involved in an effort to address their noxious marketing gimmicks. Does this make me guilty of something?

    And by that standard, Jewlicious is hardly an innocent bystander either. You’re the media’s go-to site for all things Charney. And CK’s latest quasi-journalistic puff-piece seems a pretty transparent attempt to counteract all of the recent bad press.

  184. themiddle

    7/21/2005 at 1:42 pm

    I dunno, it seems to me that you had to push ck a number of times to respond to you. He would have responded more aggressively if he had cared, don’t you think?

    But you’re right, we seem to be in the center of this mess because of this original post. As I wrote above, it saddens me because the livelihoods of thousands of people may be impacted. In addition, one of the only clothing manufacturers to actually not have gone overseas for its production could be harmed. Considering these factors, your vehemence and relentlessness are striking. Sorry.

  185. ck

    7/21/2005 at 1:51 pm

    I have no reason to believe that VIC is anything but sincere. People are getting a little hot under the collar about this whole AA thing and I don’t think we’re going to get anywhere hurling baseless accusations. For whatever it’s worth I have attempted to contact several of the AA detractors who work or have worked there – all to no avail so far. I assured them that I would not reveal their identities and report their allegations verbatim but no one has taken me up on that offer. In fact, I know who the individual behind the myspace project is, but I haven’t outed him or her. I am totally open to anything but the only ones who have demonstrated any measure of transparency and openness are in the AA camp. So that’s what I report. What can I tell you? What more am I supposed to do VIC? Puff piece? Dude, I was totally bored out of my skull! What would you have me write? That I was overwhelmed by the sexist aura that emanated from Dov Charney? Sheesh. Maybe I’ll chill with the AA gang Saturday night. I mean Saturday night in Montreal – they’ll surely get drunk and then loose lips may sink ships. Who knows? All I can say is what I have seen and what I have experienced and it simply and honestly does not correspond to the allegations. But like I said, I am ready to hear differently! Anyone that wants to have a serious conversation on the subject can contact me at ihatedovcharney [a] jewlicious dot com.

  186. Backlash part deux

    7/21/2005 at 1:51 pm

    In regards to post #172:

    I almost pissed myself when reading this. VIC, my friend, have you lost your sense of humor? This “protest” is obviously a mockery of the anti-american apparel movement that you hold so dearly. It’s genius. The best part is that all of the AA naysayers are buying it hook, line and sinker. The unAmerican Apparelers truly believe they have begun some sort of revolution. Hysterical!

    My favorite lines are “The suffering enslaved models of American Apparel,” and “The American Apparel models must be freed!” They are just dripping with sarcasm. Come on, do you really not get it?

    The LA Cacaphony society are the same folks that brought you “Mexican Night” where people dressed up like their favorite Cholo or “White Trash Night” long before mullets became fashionable. They are pranksters and not PC in the least.

    So I hope to god people showed up at Slash’s (yes, that Slash) Snake Pit for a beer and some laughs.

    The backlash to the backlash has begun. And it’s pretty damn hilarious.

  187. grandmuffti

    7/21/2005 at 2:39 pm

    Wow, this is so cool. Muffti can’t wait for the backlash to the backlash to the backlash, especially if it is as clever as the backlash to the backlash is.

  188. Vertically Integrated Culturejamming

    7/21/2005 at 3:31 pm

    Regarding the “protest.” I didn’t attend, so I can’t say whether it’s actually a spoof on the backlash against AA.

    I’m familiar with the Cacophony Society and I know that they’re fairly apolitical (politics having been rendered meaningless and “unhip” by so many cultural and systemic forces.) So I wouldn’t be surprised if this is some sort of meta-prank. If it is, score one for LA Cacophony. I bought it. But all that tells me is that they, like many people, have simply chosen to shrug off a serious discussion of politics.

    It’s ironic all the same that the most “PC” rhetoric in the corporate sphere comes from AA itself. “Fuck the brands that are fucking the people” indeed.

  189. Becca

    7/21/2005 at 4:41 pm

    VIC is right on and it is crystal clear that In the Middle is only parroting the bullshit that Dov has put forth in his no sweatshop marketing campaign. “One of the only clothing manufacturers not to have gone overseas” as stated in comment 84 is CRAP. American Apparel is far from being one of the only companies to manufacture in LA. There is a huge market for American made goods and the only companies that attempt to break labor laws operate underground hidden from the light of day and the watchful eye of regulatory boards. It might be a good idea for you to do a little research on the subject Mr. Middle. Supporting the false claims that Dov has made about his being the “only company” just makes you look stupid. What we can believe about Dov is that he is a self described hustler and isn’t a fine little hustle we’re all involved in.

  190. themiddle

    7/21/2005 at 5:12 pm

    Becca, I actually said “one of the few” companies. In other places I’ve said “very few” clothing manufacturers or “virtually no” clothing manufacturers who produce in the US. Now I wouldn’t say that poor reading ability makes you seem stupid, just not careful with your use of language. Although you weren’t careful when you called Charney a “slimy little maggot.”

    I’ve never met him so I don’t know whether he’s a slimy little maggot, but you have to admit that’s a fairly strong characterization of somebody.

    But you seem to know about the apparel industry in the US. Why don’t you do the research for us and tell us how many manufacturers of clothing continue to produce in the United States. When you provide that info, why not tell us how many such companies we had in the US 20 years ago. Go ahead, I challenge you.

    When I go into the department stores around here, and I mean every single one from the Targets to the Saks, I do not see anything that was produced in the USA. I see China, Malaysia and a bunch of Latin American countries and some Carribean islands as countries of origin. Right now, in fact, both Europe and the US have just threatened to apply restrictions to Chinese apparel imports to our respective countries because the trade imbalance was so incredibly high that it is destroying any remaining industry in our countries (not to mention many 3rd World countries). Not only is China complying, but today they have repositioned their currency because it causes their goods to be underpriced in the West.

    Go ahead, provide the research. I want to understand how do-gooders who have a problem with an ad containing a pimply 20 year old in underwear, or a problem with a “slimy” CEO masturbating in front of a willing reporter feel that’s enough to seek to harm thousands of employees who would likely not be able to find comparable work. Come on, show me your outrage and sense of social justice. Cuz, you know, when somebody unfairly harms other people’s livelihoods, they can fairly be described as maggots.

  191. laya

    7/21/2005 at 5:17 pm

    dov donates to our charity? Can I get some of that to go to the Send Laya On Vacation part of whatever charity we seem to have going?

  192. laya

    7/21/2005 at 5:27 pm

    and seriously dudes, might not that righteous indignation and moral outrage be better used fighting child labor practices in the countries most clothing companies use rather than fighting a sexualized marketing practices of adults?

  193. Becca

    7/21/2005 at 6:06 pm

    Middle man,

    If you go back and read your own post, #84, you will see that you used the words “one of the only manufactures”. I think my ability to discern the meaning in your choice of words is pretty accurate. So let’s see, “very few” or “virtually no”? Get out your thesaurus Middle, I think the syntax is about the same.

    As far as thousands of manufacturing companies using off shore factories, wow that’s a revelation. My problem with the slimy little maggot is that he has contorted the truth. Nothing exists in his operating practices that constitute one of the only, or should I say very few or perhaps you’d prefer virtually no, difference in most or should I say almost all, or perhaps you’d prefer virtually all manufacturers in LA.

    Now for a lesson in understanding content. I don’t care if he uses teenage models or masturbates in front his mother. He has perverted the truth about his business model to make himself look better than everyone else. I guess that’s because he’s a slimy little maggot.

    As far as taking away peoples livelihoods, the man is destoying his own company. If he cared about his employees he might try to curb his behavior which is the basis for the mess he finds himself in now.

  194. themiddle

    7/21/2005 at 6:51 pm

    Becca, so you agree with me and it just pisses you off that I qualified my sentence by making sure I didn’t say “only manufacturer” left in America.

    You then take my words and ascribe them to him because it pisses you off that he manufactures in the US and dares to boast about it as part of his marketing strategy. The man, a Canadian, even dares to call it American Apparel!

    Oops, except that he does all his manufacturing in America.

    Let me guess, when you go into a store and see two shirts, you don’t bother to look at the country of manufacture. Right? Some people do and some don’t. Personally, I’d rather give my money to the one that manufactures here, but that’s just me thinking that somehow by supporting my economy and its worker base, I’m helping our country. He manufactures here, in contrast with the vast majority of manufacturers (especially in his sector) and he has every right to tout that because it’s an achievement.

    Your claims about him perverting his business model are interesting and would be more interesting if you could back them up with something. So far all I have on the table are suggestions by anonymous posters that he’s a sexual predator who takes advantage of employees. If he does, he will pay the price in court. That has nothing to do with “perverting the truth about his business model.”

    I mean, is that why you’re calling him a maggot, because he’s “perverting the truth?” Wow, what strong words and feelings you have. You must really care about “truth.” Yup, in my poor ability to comprehend and read between the lines I have to conclude that this is what is the most disturbing aspect about this company and Charney for you, that he’s “perverting the truth about his business model.”

    Gosh, I’m sure there are a lot of people who call others maggots because they lead their own companies to a “perversion of the truth about their business model.”

    But I agree, he should curb his behavior if it’s inappropriate. But go ahead and penalize his workers for his craziness.

  195. a.c.e AndTheRevolutions

    7/21/2005 at 8:12 pm

    Hey friday is pay day and shit i better be getting my money plus my bonus. With Dov in montreal shit wheres the fun, i mean a war is only good when the captain is present.
    Has anyone read the article in the Village VOice by Lynn Yager..check it out.
    American Apparel Union Busting!
    google it for other fun anti AA links.

    All i have to say from being away and off i that i really hate TheMiddle and CK. Lets get them and Dov together and have a circle jerk.

    and in respond to a comment by BACKLASH, we arent looking to free the souls of the MODELS, they are just laughed at, we are just trying to let the people who think they are buying into an idea to be told the truth. FUCK the Models,who cares about the models.Why is anyone writting about the models, let them like Lauren and Sona and Ms. Phenoix get their 50 bucks and hour who the fuck cares who sucks whos dick and whos dad is crying, cause they are all part of the same shit, they are sluts! and we know that already, who cares! seeesh.

    all i have to say is a union is in process so DOv better be scared, media has been written to, talk to and sent images to, shit ive told people in the store not to buy the clothes and given them a card of lins to certain web pages with media coverage.

    the company sucks people have the right to know. this has been something in the works foooooooor a long time and wait its just going to get better.

    can somebody pass me the popcorn?

    Totally all of Ace’s Falt.

  196. Becca

    7/21/2005 at 8:30 pm

    His workers are being penalized everyday at work work BY HIS CRAZINESS.

  197. themiddle

    7/21/2005 at 9:34 pm

    Yes, let’s conduct a survey…

    Which do you, dear AA employee, prefer:

    1. Working in the almost non-existent apparel industry with above-market wages and reasonably priced benefits but with a boss who can be CRAZY?

    2. Not working, or working at low market wages with probably no benefits or fewer benefits.

    Oh wait, the 4000 employees answer that question daily, don’t they?

  198. themiddle

    7/21/2005 at 9:37 pm

    ACE, you hate me because I think these jobs are valuable? Ouch!

    Must be nice ripping off your employer.

  199. ck

    7/21/2005 at 10:23 pm

    ACE – by all means feel free to hate whoever you like. I myself hate the people responsible for educating you, but that’s another story. I’m trying to stay objective and so I’ll give you a small piece of advice – you’re not doing your side any favors.

  200. A.C.E HAS PIMPLES

    7/21/2005 at 10:47 pm

    In regards to comment #195:

    Yes, please go read Lynn Yaeger’s piece of journalistic excellence. Oh, wait, you can’t because it was taken down from the Village Voice site because it was complete and utter bullshit! The title of the article was this big sensational hurrah about Union busting yet the only incident they brought up was the Unite union drive that failed years ago. What is so hilarious is that it was village voice who wrote a scathing expose about how Unite was a totally corrupt organization who completely exploited its members. So this Yaegar chick neglected to check her own publication’s archives for the facts. Embarrassed by this huge oversight, the village voice has taken the article down.

    Another site that recanted recently-unAmerican Apparel.
    This morning there was a listing about the “protest” that took place yesterday. Once they realized that people were ridiculing their “plight” they promtly took it down.

    suckas!

  201. Hawaii

    7/22/2005 at 2:53 am

    If being American means being uptight, uncool, and sexually repressed, then perhaps our super-patriots – ASW and his myspace cronies – are right: Dov is unamerican.

  202. pierrot le fou

    7/22/2005 at 6:04 am

    dovs mind is big and open.

  203. johnny 5 is still alive

    7/25/2005 at 12:50 pm

    Most of the arguing online is taking place between people in the same age
    group. These are the people who, I believe, are the core AA customers. In the world of major retail corporations, AA is the youth brand. It’s a brand that belongs to young people, and as such it should be supported by all young people. AA can be a voice for these kids in their early 20s. It’s a voice that says “there is a new way.” This means that there is a new way for doing business. There is a new way to build an enormously successful company on idealism, collaboration, support, responsibility, energy, and the joy of life. These arguing kids should realize that this is their chance to make a difference. This is their chance to call into question the very essence of market realities. They should know that by supporting AA they are taking a legitimate step onto an massive playing field.
    It’s a class war, a struggle for utopia, a changing of the guard, and these kids – the Echo Boomers, as Dov calls them – must identify
    with this. Just as you and I have become excited about entering this arena…that’s the joy – the joy of endless possibilities – that we must convey.

  204. reason

    7/25/2005 at 4:51 pm

    There’s a lot of noise and not very much signal here, so let me see if I can bring this back to what is germaine.

    Dov Charney is odd, but he has proven to be a very good businessman. What is at issue here is the sexualization of the work place.

    Traditional scenarios involved bosses coercing staff to engage in activities that they otherwise would never do. But that’s not really the case here. The case here is the creation of a situation where employees have the perception that those who sleep with the boss will be treated better than those who do not sleep with the boss.

    Any reasonable person can see that such a thing can and will foster resentment and lead to a hostile work environment. There’s nothing wrong with sleeping with people you work with, but when you are the boss it is your responsibilty be extra specially cautious and maybe even discrete – and that’s if you are monogamous. If you are polyamorous like Charney, you have to be even more cautious.

    He’s not doing his company or his employees any favors by wearing his heart out on his sleeve.

  205. themiddle

    7/25/2005 at 5:22 pm

    Heh heh.

  206. Harley

    7/25/2005 at 11:33 pm

    This seems to be one of the few blogs where negative content about Charney is nearly nil. It’s not only refreshing, but honest and humble–kind of like when I admit to myself (and anyone around me willing to listen) that AA ads turn me right on. I mean, I’ve kicked my penchant for the Victoria Secrets catalogue in favour of anxiously awaiting the the next ad to grace the new edition of my hometown’s free weekly paper, and I think that there’s something to that.
    Sex sells for a reason, and that’s ’cause it’s one of the few liesure activities that God has afforded nearly every last one of us on this green Earth of his, and to get your panties in a bunch over that, I think, is more indicative of some acute Catholic-style shame than any moral piety. As a recovering Christian, I’m relieved to have shed my own repressive hang-ups.
    That Charney’s taking so much fire over the success of his marketing strategy, moreover, probably isn’t so much the result of so much playa-hating, as it is that there are way too many of the blindly faithful out there who are dangerously too eager to accept the tenets of some strangely puritanical indoctrination without thinking it through for themselves.
    Hey, it’s like they say: Free your mind and the body will follow. And being the most tangible gift that God has given us, how can it be healthy (or even ‘good’ or ‘right’) to defy what that body coaxes us into doing.
    Three cheers for Charney:
    hips, lips, bootay!
    hips, lips, bootay!
    hips, lips, bootay!

  207. Vertically Integrated Culturejamming

    7/27/2005 at 10:59 pm

    While Jewlicious carries water for Dov Charney, the Jewish Journal takes a more critical, yet balanced look at the man and his company…

    http://www.jewishjournal.com/home/preview.php?id=14419

    Here’s an interesting quote:

    “I think the Jewish community should have an inquiry. What the hell is this? I think I’ve been an outstanding contributor to the dignity of Los Angeles. I’m committed to this city. I’m committed to my employees…. How do you think it is on a Jewish mother? It’s horrible for her to see her son facing these accusations.”

    So there we have it. Charney implies that his critics are part of an anti-Semitic smear campaign. I wonder how Jewlicious will spin this.

  208. Joe Schmo

    7/28/2005 at 12:40 am

    Amazing how the things important to the irreligious Jewish Organizations in LA are so the opposite of the things important to Judaism.

    To them the fact that charney has relations with women including Non-jews- thats no problem.

    Thats he’s anti-union- THATS a problem.

    That he pulls down his pants in public- thats no problem.
    That this case would not give good publicity to anti-sweatshop activists – big problem.

    How screwed up Jewish leaders become when they distance themselves from the Torah – the source of Judaism.

  209. Becca

    7/28/2005 at 1:39 pm

    Yes VIC, he’s pulling out the Jew card. Wow how surprising. Pretty slimy.

  210. d.o.b.

    7/28/2005 at 3:33 pm

    There is an article out there right now that is very intereting and totally relates to what is going on with these law suits.

    Very curious to see what people think about this.

  211. mol666

    7/29/2005 at 11:38 am

    few things:

    Dov looks suspiciously like Ron Jeremy in that Montreal Mirror picture. Ewwww.

    Second, regarding the “image” for store employees — okay, anyone ever worked at a place like the Gap? My understanding is, if you work at the Gap, you have to buy your own Gap clothes, wear them during your shift, whatever. But I don’t think that you have the same kind of dress code requirements for underwear, makeup, et cetera. Of course, you also don’t have a boss who’s a Ron Jeremy lookalike jacking off in front of you.

    And oh yeah. I don’t care who you are, but if I’m working with you and if you toss me an inappropriate sexual comment, I’ll do whatever I can to methophrorically kick your ass. That crap does *not* belong in the workplace, and it sucks that people are deluded into thinking that it is. “Unusual character” my ass.

    Finally, I like the t-shirts. They’re good t-shirts. I just wish the CEO wasn’t such a schmuck.

  212. Madeline

    7/30/2005 at 5:00 am

    In response to “a few things”:

    Let’s skip right to the retail employee image comment since the Ron Jeremy line was a) really off base, and b) not even remotely clever.

    Am I the only person who has ever been affected by the appearance of a salesperson? If you went into a high-end designer store like Dior or Marc Jacobs, can you honestly say that you would not be thrown off by seeing someone who could pass for a Walmart employee? Can you? And wouldn’t the same ring true if you were at a Walmart and a sales associate was pricing cases of Neosporin wearing $2,000 pants and with next season Prada shoes? I sure as hell would be confused.

    When I am shopping for clothes I like to feel like I can trust the taste and opinon of the salesperson that is assisting me. It puts me at ease when I feel that these people truly know what they are talking about. Let us not forget that their job consists of knowing the products and selling them. There is no better way for a clothing store employee to know the product than to wear the pieces and the same goes for selling.

    On many occasions I have found myself standing in a dressing room after disecting a great outfit on a salesperson and thinking, ‘Goddamn it, the gold taffeta looked great on her, maybe if I just pin it in the back…’ We have all been there before.
    Admit it.

    Walk into an American Apparel. You’ll see right away that it is not a brothel full of lolitas wearing nothing but a g-string. It’s just not. Guess what else it’s not? It’s not an orgy. Or a circle jerk. Or a guy welcoming his customers by pulling out his dick.

    The mythology that is being created about the retail experience at American Apparel is really both hilarious and absolutely incredible. It’s become hipster folklore.

    The best part is that at the end of the day, this urban legend just helps sell more t-shirts. And what damn good shirts they are.

  213. Vertically Integrated Culturejamming

    7/30/2005 at 5:42 am

    So, if I could sum up your vapid prose in three simple words, Madeline, it would be…

    No fat chicks?

  214. Madeline

    7/30/2005 at 12:18 pm

    Good try. Let me help you out VIC.

    No boring chicks with no sense of style, humor, or reality.

  215. sevan

    7/31/2005 at 2:44 am

    i’d like to second madeline, i have been in american apparel stores on a few occasions planning to stock up on some more hot shorts but ended up leaving with much more than that influenced by outfits on the girls in the store.
    of course people are going to take the style advice and opinion of stylish people, be they skinny or large and lovely (i saw nothing in madeline’s original post that referenced weight), than someone’s who doesn’t have that great of a style or isn’t necessarily attractive.
    let’s be honest here, as shallow as it may be, clothes are like a second skin, not too many people buy clothes not SIMPLY for practial purposes, we buy them to look good. so naturally, when buying clothes to make you look good, you’d rather trust someone who already does rather than someone who doesn’t. no?

  216. JewGrrrlll

    7/31/2005 at 6:09 pm

    You guys haven’t even mentioned the best line in the whole Jewish Journal piece:

    “I could pull my penis out right now and no one would be offended.”

    Said Prince Charming, er, Charney, in response to allegations of exposing himself. This interview was better than a lot of the others with him. He seemed much more funny and open as opposed to just slimy.

  217. Becca

    8/1/2005 at 12:06 pm

    Dov Charney is being sued for sexual harassment. He has allegedly created a hostile work environment, IT’S AGAINST THE LAW! How does this continue to get lost in this discussion? Dov may be a shrewd and talented business man but that doesn’t give him a pass on his conduct where his employees are concerned. He may produce a great product and a great marketing program to support it but he is not above the law. Maybe the argument can be made that the laws should be changed but they haven’t been. If you’re a boss you are opening yourself up to big trouble if you even say the word fuck in the workplace. Damn, I’d like to walk down the street smoking a big spleef but I don’t because I don’t want to get in trouble. Most people learn the consequences versus actions lesson pretty early in life. Dov has chosen to ignore it and now he finds himself in a heap of trouble. What’s worse is that he has turned it around to make it seem as if he’s the victim.

  218. Vertically Integrated Culturejamming

    8/1/2005 at 3:39 pm

    It’s useless Becca. The folks at Jewlicious won’t take the sex harassment charges seriously unless and until there’s been a verdict against Dov?

    They’re kind of like White House Press Secretary Scott McLellan on Rove. (“We’re not going to discuss an ongoing invesigation that is ongoing.”)

  219. themiddle

    8/1/2005 at 4:46 pm

    Yeah, VIC, you sure have been restricted from presenting your views in clear detail because of the folks at Jewlicious.

  220. Vertically Integrated Culturejamming

    8/1/2005 at 5:50 pm

    I never said that Jewlicious had “restricted” my speech. I only pointed out that you and CK have been incredibly dismissive of the charges leveled at Charney.

    It’s worth noting that you’re no longer #3 in Google’s search results for “Dov Charney.” Perhaps readers are flocking to sites which aren’t trying to spin all that negative press he’s generated.

    In case you’re wondering why I’m still here, I like to keep tabs on the talking points. Sorta like watching Fox News.

  221. themiddle

    8/1/2005 at 6:41 pm

    You’re comparing us to Fox? Bwahahahahahahahaha!

    I’m not “incredibly dismissive” of anything and would like to see what happens in these suits. I find it interesting that the cases haven’t settled. I believe that if they are valid suits, Charney will pay a price and the justice system will make it relevant to the particular offense.

    Watching you, I can only wonder what your hidden motive for attacking a clothing company might be. You sure do expend a great deal of energy on this topic.

  222. Becca

    8/1/2005 at 8:02 pm

    What’s your hidden motive Middle? By the way….middle of what??? Your arguments are completly pro Dov and sound very one sided to me.

  223. Vertically Integrated Culturejamming

    8/1/2005 at 8:14 pm

    “You’re comparing us to Fox? Bwahahahahahahahaha!”

    I was sorta kidding, but the analogy holds. As Fox is to Bush, you are to Charney. Go back and read CK’s “move along, nothing to see here” piece on Jewlicious:

    http://jewlicious.com/?p=1258

    It might as well have been written by AA’s own PR department!

    “I’m not “incredibly dismissive” of anything and would like to see what happens in these suits.”

    Well, you’ve repeatedly accused Charney’s critics of wanting to take jobs away from poor, defenseless Mexican factory workers.

    Here you are on 7/12: “It appears that leftists like to destroy the livelihood of the lower middle class.”

    You make this accusation rather than debate the actual points raised by the company’s critics.

    Here you are on 7/10: “In fact, when I think about thousands of families, many of them blue collar (and as the poster above noted, some without English language skills), being able to work and earn respectable wages because Charney has been able to grow this company, and compare that to whether a few employees were intimidated or not by his sexual overtures, it is clear to me which is the more important. There’s no contest.”

    No contest! That seems pretty dismissive to me. Don’t know whether those “few employees” are the plaintiffs or not, but it’s clear from this quote that your mind is made up, lawsuit or not!

    “I believe that if they are valid suits, Charney will pay a price and the justice system will make it relevant to the particular offense.”

    Maybe it will, maybe it won’t. But it doesn’t take a court of law to tell us that AA has a few um…problems.

    “Watching you, I can only wonder what your hidden motive for attacking a clothing company might be. You sure do expend a great deal of energy on this topic.”

    Let’s just say I have a lot of free time and some strong opinions. Funny, that’s the same reason people run blogs, isn’t it?

    Your insinuations are increasingly shrill. I’ve already been clear that I am involved in a campaign to counteract AA’s marketing tactics. I have no financial or legal motive to slander AA. Let’s just say I have a brain and a bullshit detector. Charney has insulted the former and tripped the alarm on the latter. So I’m speaking my mind.

  224. themiddle

    8/1/2005 at 8:41 pm

    My insinuations are shrill? Hee hee. I have no idea who you are nor do I care, I just find it amazing that anybody would care this much unless they had a reason to care. Jus’ sayin’.

    Becca, my motives were laid out clearly by VIC – read the part about people losing jobs.

    Oh, and unlike you peeps, here’s my disclaimer: I’ve never met Charney, have no relationship with him in any way shape or form, don’t know anybody in his circle or family, have no stake in AA, do not own their products although plan on buying a couple of t-shirts soon, don’t know anybody who works for AA, and have never had sex with a current or aspiring AA employee or family member of an employee or even a friend of a family member of an AA employee. Nor have I even shared a meal or a drink with any such person.

    I am stringless when it comes to this, and other than my concern that somehow this old post by ck will indirectly have cost people at AA their jobs because of “disinterested, motive-pure, happy-go-lucky” people like VIC, I would probably have remained out of this discussion.

  225. Vertically Integrated Culturejamming

    8/1/2005 at 11:54 pm

    “Oh, and unlike you peeps, here’s my disclaimer: I’ve never met Charney, have no relationship with him in any way shape or form, don’t know anybody in his circle or family, have no stake in AA, do not own their products although plan on buying a couple of t-shirts soon, don’t know anybody who works for AA, and have never had sex with a current or aspiring AA employee or family member of an employee or even a friend of a family member of an AA employee. Nor have I even shared a meal or a drink with any such person.”

    Well, you’ve certainly acquited yourself as a disinterested party. You also failed to rebut a single one of my points, but at least we now know that you don’t have anything riding on your ridiculous opinions.

    “I am stringless when it comes to this, and other than my concern that somehow this old post by ck will indirectly have cost people at AA their jobs because of “disinterested, motive-pure, happy-go-lucky” people like VIC, I would probably have remained out of this discussion.”

    Not sure why the quotes around “disinterested, motive-pure, happy go lucky.” Those are hardly useful traits for a thinking person.

    Count me as interested, motivated and reasonably happy, though rarely simply lucky.

  226. themiddle

    8/2/2005 at 12:43 am

    Aaah VIC, I didn’t rebut cuz I didn’t care. I thought your points were weak and raised nothing new. The only one that mattered to me was the comment about the shrillness of my comments. Since I didn’t find them shrill, but resented the insinuation, I decided to clarify that I have nothing to gain or lose here in any way. I do care about the workers (who I have never met or even spoken to) and the fact that the products are being produced in the USA.

    You, on the other hand, haven’t clarified your interest in this other than to speak of some vague discomfort with AA’s advertising. As if anyone would dedicate themselves to this as you have for that reason. At least you now admit to being an “interested” party. Good. You know my motives and I know you have motives.

  227. Becca

    8/2/2005 at 11:31 am

    If the workers at American Apparel lose their jobs it will be because of the actions of Dove Charney and no one else. If the alleged accusations of sexual misconduct are found to be true he will have to settle the law suits and then clean up his act. It is Dov’s arrogance that got him into this. He’s not stupid; he simply chose to ignore the law.

  228. JC

    8/2/2005 at 12:27 pm

    I was cocktailing it last night, and there was this journalist there who claimed to be in town (Montreal) to interview DC, and as the apple martinis flowed, she ran her mouth off about some of the findings she’s dug up.
    Apparently, two of the plaintiffs (the ones under wing of some famous women’s rights lawyer) are already pushing for an out-of-court settlement. Now read that as you may, but that their case might not withstand neither the piercing scrutiny of blind justice nor legal precedent is just a plausible as anything else.
    As for the other plaintiff, apparently she was in pretty rough financial waters when AA let her go. She’s also supposed to have a Friendster account that brags of her trash-talking hustler skills. Too bad I was too loose for my memory to retain the names, but I guess that that’s what happens when that good old devil’s brew has you more interested in someone’s body than thier mind.
    I’m not the investigative journalist, but if there’s anything to any this, as a self professed libertine, DC seems an easy target for such allegations. But if someone could tell me the name of that alleged ‘hustla’, I’d love to look it up on Friendster.

  229. themiddle

    8/2/2005 at 12:27 pm

    You see Becca, we agree on this. If the accusations are found true, then Charney and American Apparel will be punished and there may be ramifications to the company.

  230. Vertically Integrated Culturejamming

    8/2/2005 at 1:42 pm

    “Aaah VIC, I didn’t rebut cuz I didn’t care. I thought your points were weak and raised nothing new.”

    To recap: you claimed that you were not “incredibly dismissive” of the charges against Dov Charney. I produced two quotes you’ve made on this forum which demonstrate otherwise. Here’s my favorite one, repeated for posterity:

    “In fact, when I think about thousands of families, many of them blue collar (and as the poster above noted, some without English language skills), being able to work and earn respectable wages because Charney has been able to grow this company, and compare that to whether a few employees were intimidated or not by his sexual overtures, it is clear to me which is the more important. There’s no contest.”

    Unless you can tell me how this quote supports your claim that you’re *not* dismissive of the harassment charges, I’d say you’ve been caught in an obvious lie.

    “You, on the other hand, haven’t clarified your interest in this other than to speak of some vague discomfort with AA’s advertising.”

    My discomfort with AA’s marketing has never been vague. It’s been carefully and rather explicitly laid out in previous posts. And it’s not some crazy, left field opinion. There are a lot of people creeped out by AA’s ads.

    If you look back at these same posts, you’ll also discover that I find Dov Charney’s public statements on things like domestic violence and feminism disturbing and misogynist. Oh, and I’m not crazy about the sexually-charged working environment either.

    Hope this clarifies why I dislike AA. But, if you’d really been reading my arguments, rather than breathlessly composing your latest defense of the poor, defenseless Mexican factory workers, you mightn’t have need the clarification at all.

    “As if anyone would dedicate themselves to this as you have for that reason. At least you now admit to being an “interested” party. Good. You know my motives and I know you have motives.”

    Whatever *that* means. I mean, seriously Middle, you’ve wasted just as much time and energy on this issue as I have. Where I’ve been very clear and perhaps too thorough in my arguments, you’ve fired off ill-considered missives accusing me of wanting to take jobs away from factory workers and of having a secret, sinister agenda. You prefer attacking my character to debating the issues. CK seems to have some working knowledge of the rules of debate, and has already chided you once for this tactic.

    Unless you want to revisit the discrepancies in your comments (detailed above), I really don’t see what I have to gain from our discussion apart from carpal tunnel syndrome.

  231. themiddle

    8/2/2005 at 2:36 pm

    Discrepancies? Maybe it’s you who needs to read or write a little carefully.

    Incredibly dismissive does not mean dismissive as you now seek to reframe my words. Incredibly adds a certain meaning to the word dismissive which renders your comment incorrect. Sorry.

    I also don’t think it’s dismissive to say that a few thousand jobs are more important than accusations of sexual harrassment. Certainly, considering your activism without having any legal evidence to support you, it seems incredible that you would seek to harm Charney and the company, don’t you think? Or are you just here as an interested and motivated party who hasn’t been seeking to do this?

    I stand by what I wrote. It wasn’t dismissive of anything and it certainly wasn’t incredibly dismissive. It was rational and calculated and expresses firmly that one blue collar family’s income, particularly when they have had nothing to do with Charney’s alleged misdeeds, is more important to me than the allegations or even the offenses.

    You can extrapolate further if you like. For example, Ken Lay should be punished for his alleged misdeeds if proven true in court, and I really am not too concerned about his well-being. However, I am saddened by the terrible impact Enron’s collapse had upon its employees, their incomes and retirement funds.

    Boy, I’m such an evil person and you’re such a good and ethical person.

  232. Vertically Integrated Culturejamming

    8/2/2005 at 6:19 pm

    “Incredibly dismissive does not mean dismissive as you now seek to reframe my words. Incredibly adds a certain meaning to the word dismissive which renders your comment incorrect. Sorry.
    I also don’t think it’s dismissive to say that a few thousand jobs are more important than accusations of sexual harrassment.”

    Incredibly dismissive. Kinda dismissive. A wee bit dismissive. I’ll let you pick the adjective. Makes no difference to me. But here’s the thing…

    You’ve maintained all along that the courts will decide whether Charney has done anything wrong and will render any necessary penalties. And you say you support this process.

    Meanwhile, you tell us that the accusations themselves (and the behaviors they describe) are trivial when weighed against the livelihoods of Charney’s manufacturing staff. “No contest” you say.

    So which is it? Do you genuinely support the legal process and believe Charney should be held responsible for his behavior? Or do you find the lawsuits harmful to the greater good? These positions are *mutually exclusive.* You can only talk out of both sides of your mouth for so long (even with a handle like “The Middle.”)

    “Certainly, considering your activism without having any legal evidence to support you, it seems incredible that you would seek to harm Charney and the company, don’t you think?”

    My “activism” is informed by news articles, Charney’s public statements, company policies and AA’s very visible marketing campaign. This is not gossip or speculation. It’s already on the public record and undisputed by Charney or his cronies.

    But OK, I’ll bite. How many activist movements (especially those of the anti-corporate stripe) have waited for “legal evidence” (whatever that is) to launch their campaigns? That’s a bizarre standard. Attention anti-Nike activists, cancel your protests until some judge declares that Philip Knight is a liar! Not gonna happen.

    “Or are you just here as an interested and motivated party who hasn’t been seeking to do this?”

    Not even sure what you mean by this question. I have NO legal or financial stake in the future of American Apparel. I like some of their products. I’m wearing one of their comfy, white cotton tees right now, for crying out loud! As a leftist and as a consumer, I would like to see AA live up to their own hype. I’d love it if they would…

    1) submit to voluntary inspections
    2) abandon the creepy advertising
    3) make the workplace comfortable for women

    This is hardly a smear campaign. It’s a list of reforms that would make most of AA’s critics very happy.

    “I stand by what I wrote. It wasn’t dismissive of anything and it certainly wasn’t incredibly dismissive. It was rational and calculated and expresses firmly that one blue collar family’s income, particularly when they have had nothing to do with Charney’s alleged misdeeds, is more important to me than the allegations or even the offenses.”

    Well then, why not hold Charney to the same high standards you’re holding me to? When Dov urges his customers to “Fuck the Brands that are Fucking the People” and targets other companies with his rhetoric, he’s potentially endangering the jobs of plenty of working people who depend on his competitors for a paycheck.

    So don’t chew me out for criticizing AA. Attack Charney. He’s taking jobs away from folks at Hanes and Levis by waging rhetorical attack on them.

    I guess you’ll say that when he does it, it’s all part of competing in a free market. When I do it, it’s slander designed to take away jobs from blue collar families. That’s a funny double standard!

    “You can extrapolate further if you like. For example, Ken Lay should be punished for his alleged misdeeds if proven true in court, and I really am not too concerned about his well-being. However, I am saddened by the terrible impact Enron’s collapse had upon its employees, their incomes and retirement funds. ”

    I’m saddened by it too. But here’s the thing. If there had been more criticism of Enron BEFORE they hit the iceberg, they could have averted that tragedy. If whistleblowers had felt safe to come forward. If critics, both inside and outside the company hadn’t been stifled. And if a gullible business press hadn’t been bowled over by marketing hype, Enron and all of its investors and employees might have survived.

    All useful lessons for any company. Wouldn’t you agree?

    “Boy, I’m such an evil person and you’re such a good and ethical person.”

    I don’t believe that there are such things as evil and good persons. And I’m not trying to imply anything of the sort. I’m keeping focused on the issues raised by this controversy. You keep sidelining us into conjecture about motives and consequences.

    Let’s keep a sense of proportion. My critiques no matter how strident will never bring down a corporate giant. I’m just a blowhard with an internet connection. Dov, meanwhile, runs a $350 million company with an astonishing amount of bad press. Can’t you think of one thing you think he ought to be doing to avoid a crisis? Or can all of his problems really be laid at the feet of people like me?

  233. themiddle

    8/2/2005 at 6:37 pm

    My, you’re so dismissive of your significant use of the word incredibly to describe your perception of how I approach this. In fact, you’re so dismissive of your earlier attacks on me now that I’ve responded.

    Now you accuse me of talking out of both sides of my mouth because I am able to take two concepts and keep them separate from each other.

    It’s simple: if Cherney is guilty, he and presumably American Apparel will pay a penalty. Yes, that might mean people losing jobs and that will be on his head.

    On the other hand, right now he is employing 4000 people on these shores while most apparel manufacturers have or are sending their jobs overseas. I’d like to see that continue to happen and I certainly wish for other companies to emulate him. If his advertising shames them to do it…then good for all of us. Don’t you think?

    Regardless, this campaign to undermine an American company that is seeking to treat its people fairly strikes me as quite unfortunate. The pleasure you take in it is also quite unfortunate.

    With respect to the whistleblower issue, I don’t see a problem for any person who wishes to express their issues with AA. Do you? Where are all those mysterious commenters who were with us earlier in the conversation? Are they unable to express themselves here or elsewhere? Are they unable to write letters to the editors of the large publications that carried stories about this? Are they unable to go to, for example, the California Labor Commission to complain about violations of laws and rules?

    It seems to me that if there’s a problem, there are numerous ways for it to be handled. I do know it’s gonna be a bitch for that apparel worker to find another job that pays and treats him well as this one does. In fact, most such jobs are overseas now. I give Charney credit for trying to keep them here.

    Oh, and the advertising doesn’t bother me at all and I find it offensive that people like you are trying to stifle it. Can you now find it in your hear to go bother Calvin Klein with his child models. 😉

  234. themiddle

    8/2/2005 at 6:37 pm

    heart

  235. ck

    8/2/2005 at 6:47 pm

    Man, this doesn’t end does it?

    You see VIC you call Charney a Misogynist. You paint a picture of a sexual predator, a man who seems unhinged and cannot control his morbid, creepy lust. A man so consumed by his obsessive sexuality that he has transformed every aspect of his company into an entity meant to serve his desires.

    That’s based on some allegations. Frankly, given how many people work for him, I’m somewhat puzzled that there are only three cases pending. Now others allege differently – but the thing is that you speak as if he is presumed guilty. That’s not quite how the legal system works.

    As far as his ads, you find them disturbing? Well, you probably need to get out a bit more. Not only are they not disturbing, but many have argued that they are in fact progressive. But whatever all of this is just my opinion.

    Well, all of it except for the part about you needing to get out more. Probably you should also broaden your horizons a bit more too. Just sayin’ there’s a bunch of little kids in China, Pakistan, Indonesia etc. that could use a little of your tenacity.

  236. Vertically Integrated Culturejamming

    8/2/2005 at 7:24 pm

    Alright, I’ll cry uncle! It’s been fun. You’ve certainly helped me to hone some of my arguments. For that, I am truly thankful.

    But what passes for debate on your blog is really just a shell game. You’re entrenched in your own spin and you’re acting as apologists for a self-described hustler.

    But it’s all hustle and no flow in this discussion. You won’t talk issues. Blessedly (and thanks in part to the controversy launched by your blog) there are many better places to have a serious debate on American Apparel. Google ’em.

  237. ck

    8/2/2005 at 9:44 pm

    Well that’s all fine and good. And you did indeed make some almost fine points – like that whole Kathie Lee Gifford/Nike thing. Why do we not need a judge to pass a verdict in those situations and yet we insist on that here?

    Well because the abuses in Nike and Gifford sweatshops were well documented AND LEGAL. Perfectly legal, no laws were broken. Wrt Charney and the allegations made by the plaintiffs, we really need an objective third party to try to determine if any actionable offense was committed. Alternatively, if you can show me a videotape or whatever of a hostile work environment, I really wouldn’t need a judge. But no one has that. So what do we do? Some rush to condemn. Others try to respond in a reasonable and measured manner, taking all things into account.

    That’s all we’re trying to do. Nothing too complicated there.

  238. Becca

    8/2/2005 at 10:06 pm

    Sad to see you go VIC. Your argument was elegant in its interpretation and you were consistent in your thought. Yes Dov is a self described hustler. What is a hustler? It’s someone who cares only for their own aggrandizement. Someone that will exploit the weak and whatever else he has to exploit get what he wants. The young models he uses are the perfect example. They aren’t compensated for their modeling and they sure don’t belong to any union. As far as the factory workers go, Dov knows that immigrant Mexicans will not go to the authorities if they’re being treated unfairly, it is their cultural predilection. But hey, Dov employs 4000 people so I guess the ends justify the means. So weather or not Dov pays the price for his alleged misconduct remains to be seen. But here’s as simply a view point as I can possible make. People that are truly good to their workers and conduct themselves in even a moderately respectful manner don’t attract this type of discussion. Everyone out there should remember that a whole lot of people thought Hitler was a great guy. Hey, he made the Volkswagen didn’t he?

  239. ck

    8/2/2005 at 10:17 pm

    Jesus Becca, Hitler?? You have now just become an internet cliché … you have proven Godwin’s Law. Aw man. So much for rational discourse.

  240. Becca

    8/2/2005 at 11:06 pm

    Tell me it’s not true that a lot of people looked the other way when Hitler put Germany back to work? They looked the other way because they cared more about the ends than the means. I’m just saying don’t look the other way, which you seem to be doing. Internet cliché indeed. Furthermore ck, I’m a Jew and it makes me sick that this man could have done something great. Instead he allowed his megalomaniacal personality to overshadow his sensibility. So I guess we’re not allowed to compare a Jew to Hitler. Guess I crossed a nasty little line there. I’ll say it again, the ends don’t justify the means.

  241. ck

    8/2/2005 at 11:46 pm

    OK Becca. You could just have said “the ends justify the means.” You could have cited Machiavelli or Lao Tzu or Hobbes or Locke. But no. You just had to go with the Hitler thing. The whole maggot shtick wasn’t working for you?

    But don’t misunderstand me Becca. Feel free to use the Hitler analogy whenever dealing with someone responsible for the systematic murder of millions of people in order to promote a loathsome racialist value system. If such a person exists, you can even use the Hitler analogy even if that person is a Jew.

    But I digress. No one ever said that if Charney is guilty of the things he is accused of that he shouldn’t be punished. But don’t crucify him before getting all the facts!

    Look. I don’t know. A hostile work environment is a pretty serious thing. Is it $2 million worth of serious? I don’t know, but when you’re spending $600 a month on doggie day care and carrying 2 mortgages and spending way beyond your means, $2 mill even after lawyer’s fees goes a long way. And how does one define a hostile work environment occasioned by the use of profane language and sexual innuendo?

    I mean, is it an absolute standard? Or is it a subjective standard? An employee at a strip bar or at a hooters is going to have to be accustomed to a certain measure of sexual innuendo that a Nun working at a day care would not be subject to. So given that the standard is subjective and depends upon the individual involved and the circumstances of employment, would someone who was used to receiving say… photos of acquaintances penises in her email really be able to claim that sort of sexual harassment? Especially if she, say… used obscene language herself on a regular basis, had intimate sexual conversations with her co-workers and on and on. These are all just hypothetical issues Becca. But they merit further discussion I think. Because lets look at what the possibilities are.

    What if, just what if, the lawsuits in question are merely a bald faced cash grab, an attempt to take advantage of a litigious society and a CEO who is too wierd and transparent for his own good. Who would really be the big loser in such a case?

    Dov Charney? FUCK Dov Charney. None of this has hurt his bottom line in the least bit. The stores are still selling shirts like mad as the AA empire continues to expand.

    The real victim in all this will be the woman who really is suffering from serious sexual harassment at work. Every time a frivolous law suit is exposed, it will make it that much harder for a genuine victim to come forward and be taken seriously.

    But whatever, I am willing to reserve my judgement until all the facts come out. Just remember, there are implications and consequences all around here.

  242. JC

    8/3/2005 at 12:10 am

    CK has got a point on frivolous lawsuits hurting the real victims. In a similar vain, though, the gratuitous player-hating flying around this blog is a real distraction from the issue.
    I mean, shit, if we’re going to rap about the ins and the outs about what Charney may or may not be doing, then VIC and middle could use a bucket of cold water more than any two dogs.
    You wanna talk about a sexually hostile environment, then how about the repressed tension manifesting in the content of their discourse.
    It’s not about trade-offs, it’s not about the ends justifying the means, and it certainly has nothing to do with Hitler.
    All that matters here is:
    (a) Are people responsible, within reason, for the situations they voluntarily enter into? i.e. who’s at fault for the addiction, the smoker or Philip Morris?
    (b) Has DC been sufficiently transparent that anyone applying for employment under him in the last, er, three years can be reasonably expected to know what to expect?
    (c) If the plaintiff is actually a potty-mouthed, money-grabbing opportunist and libertine herself, does that mean that she still has a case?
    (b) Is there any consistency within the following syllogism: P1 Dov Charney is a self-proclaimed hustler and libertine; P2 Mary Nelson is a self-proclaimed trash-talking hustler; C If Nelson’s grievances can be dismissed on the grounds of her professed character, then charges of Charney fostering a sexually hostile environment are inadmissable.
    Someone help me out here please…

  243. themiddle

    8/3/2005 at 12:13 am

    Awww, VIC, when people don’t buy your argument you blame it on them instead of your inability to be persuasive? Come back any time, especially after we learn the outcome of the lawsuits.

    And Becca, Jew or not, anybody who compares an apparel manufacturer who pays $13-$20/hour to blue collar workers in the LA market where they tend to get $5-$10/hour, to Hitler (!!!!!) is a buffoon.

  244. themiddle

    8/3/2005 at 12:15 am

    Hey, JC, are you saying VIC has the hots for me? 😉

  245. Becca

    8/3/2005 at 10:02 am

    Dov should be very gratified that he has such passionate supporters. People that say they haven’t even met him are willing to spend hours defending him. Putting together lovely hypothetical scenarios about frivolous law suits and how much he pays his employees. Keep looking the other way fellows. Keep missing the point. You really don’t know what you’re talking about. Your simply stinging words together that have no basis in fact.

  246. ck

    8/3/2005 at 10:36 am

    Becca – I have met him. Do a search for Charney on this blog and you’ll see I even posted about it.

    As far as the hypothetical scenarios, if said scenarios were actually true, would that make you reconsider your position?

    You think I am looking the other way?? I have no pity for sexual harrassers. None. I have three sisters and I love women. Love ’em. However, try as I did, I saw or found no evidence of it. Believe me, Charney is plenty wierd. PLENTY. But I didn’t see or hear of anything that would corroborate what some people are saying. So now I’ll just wait to see what the courts say. Unless someone has a video or something, what else would you have me do?

  247. themiddle

    8/3/2005 at 12:45 pm

    Okay, I can come clean now. I think I have a crush on the young woman in the AA ad in the post. And on the two Orthodox Jews in the other ad as well.

  248. Becca

    8/4/2005 at 10:38 am

    ck remember Clarence Thomas? He sits on the Supreme Court. Remember the congressional hearings that ensued upon his nomination? A brilliant young black woman accused him of sexual harassment while she worked for him. What happened to her? She was vilified and humiliated and ultimately Mr. Thomas was cleared of all charges. Sexual harassment is very hard to prove. That’s why most law suits are settled out of court. That’s why most victims don’t even bother to report it they just go find other jobs.

  249. ck

    8/4/2005 at 1:26 pm

    Becca, I of all people do not need to be lectured about sexual harassment. Mr. Thomas was not cleared of anything – Professor Hill made her accusations in the context of a confirmation hearing. Thomas was confirmed (barely) and went on to become one of the most underwhelming Justices in the history of the Supreme Court. He is mediocrity personified.

    Professor Hill, who now teaches at Brandeis btw, was extremely articulate and credible and I think Clarence Thomas is cowed by the whole experience to this very day.

    BUT it wasn’t a trial. It was a confirmation hearing. However, your initial point is very valid and very important. Accusations of sexual harassment are often very difficult to prove, or disprove for that matter, especially in a personal or employment situation. Most sexual harassers are not strangers either – it happens mostly between people who know each other.

    But in any case, it is very important that women who have been so victimized come out and accuse the harasser. Its also important to note that any woman who engages in a false and frivolous law suit or accusation is making it harder for real victims to come forward. And false accusations do happen. Just sayin’

  250. Becca

    8/4/2005 at 9:48 pm

    “I of all people”? Who the hell are you? You’re just another nameless faceless blogger that is interested, for whatever reason, in this particular issue. I guess, at the end of the day, we all have our convictions about our own particular reality. The slim margin that allowed Clarence Thomas to be elevated to a position that potentially will affect all of our lives and our daughters lives for generations to come is a very scary proposition. Stop looking the other way.

  251. ck

    8/4/2005 at 10:51 pm

    Becca, Becca, Becca – I am neither nameless nor faceless. If you’re a regular visitor to this blog, rather than a one issue sort of visitor, you’d know that. But I guess, you know… research is not your forté. But that’s ok.

    When I said “I of all people” I didn’t mean to suggest that you ought to know who I am. I was simply signalling to you that I have a more than passing familiarity with the subject at hand – on both an academic level and on a professional level. This does not mean I am an expert by any means. It just means that I have a strong background in the area and I am not just some shmoe shootting off at the mouth, calling people names who don’t agree with me.

    No one’s looking the other way Becca. But I am not going to pre-emptively fry anyone. You on the other hand, are free to do whatever you like.

  252. Becca

    8/5/2005 at 3:09 pm

    On an academic and a professional level? Did you ever work for Dov or know anyone that did??? Just for the record, the sexual harassment charges are the least of Dov’s worries. Maybe you should begin your research out in the field and speak to people that have quietly left the company to seek employment at companies that truly treat their employees humanely. Not to mention pay them a real living wage.

  253. ck

    8/5/2005 at 3:31 pm

    I have met lots of people that work for dov. I do not work for dov but in a past life i used to be a lawyer. dov and aa seem to be doing ok though. and i have tried to get a hold of any of dov’s detractors to give me their side of the story – no one seems to be interested, what can i say? i try. in the meantime, you have a wide open forum here – feel free to say whatever you like.

  254. Becca

    8/5/2005 at 3:41 pm

    All I can say is if I ever need a layer I’ll be coming straight to you. I know I’ll be able to count on you to defend me no matter what. It’s funny, I’ve been thinking all along, this guy must be a lawyer. I know Jews enjoy a good debate but you have an unrelenting quaility to yours. All I can say is history will tell….stay tuned. Bye for now.

  255. ck

    8/5/2005 at 4:02 pm

    Well see Becca, no matter what is not the case anymore. I am no longer a lawyer. Just a person still capable of thinking critically. But yes, history will tell. So far I know that AA has refused to quietly settle this matter out of court. That’s indicative of certain things – ie the notion that AA has strong evidence against the plaintiffs to counter their accusations. But like I said, we’ll see huh?

  256. JC

    8/6/2005 at 4:00 pm

    Becca (and any other blind skeptics),
    So I’ve been quiet since I’ve been on vacation in Cali, and guess what? Oh, here it comes… I smoked a fatty and decided to tour the AA facility… Oh yeah, and it gets better. While I was there, Charney was out front giving the payroll armoured trucks shit for there not being enough of them to deal with the hundreds of people lined up quickly enough.
    And then… here it comes… someone else taking a tour asked to meet him, and he not only took the time to meet us, but took over our tour! So now, yeah, I have met Charney, and now I’m even more hellbent on defending him, because I know more than you do.
    First, Charney and I were probably the only Jews in sight because everyone else that works there seems to be Latino. Now before you get excited over the prospect of labelling that some kind of racial inequality, I really have to elucidate just how much these people (oh no, I used that fatal generalization) loved him.
    Every where we went, workers were calling out merrily to him, welcoming him back after (as he told us) being abroad for four months.
    And in his wake, followed his benevolent wrath: in addition to the payroll fiasco that he kick in the nutz with lightening speed, I saw him chew out a sewing-team manager for having not brought the salary grievances of one of his team member’s quickly enough to the attention of the relevant people, and then later call up whoever about getting two more microwaves for the cafeteria because line-ups there were too long.
    Everywhere, I mean all over that huge schmata complex, workers schmoozed him as quickly as he could schmooze them. There’s just no way he could’ve busted any legit unionization attempts. After seeing this first hand, I’m completely ready to buy that the workers didn’t feel the need for a union and, therefore, didn’t want it or the dues it charges.
    After driving out to that sketchy, barbed-wire littered part of town, I’m as disappointed as ck over my adventure in Charneylannd.
    He’s sufficiently open to the concerns of his employees, from what I witnessed first hand, that it just makes prudent logical sense to recall that only three of the four or five thousand employees are in anyway disgruntled.
    Before you accuse him of having put on a show, recall that such an assertion is purely speculative, and is insufficient vis a vis any first hand account. Furthermore, that so many employees would so heart-warminly welcomed him back scarcely seems premeditated–I mean, there were dozens of them.
    Previously, I was being healthily skeptical of the allegations, but now I’m convinced that Charney’s some kind of schmata-industry-messiah who’s here to save the industry, the workers, and as a result, redeem capitalism as a whole.
    Nah, these lawsuits are clearly the player-hating result of a handfull of rich white kids who feel some type of hereditary right to something more than they could ever win on their merits, and who despise having to see blue-collar, first generation immigrants doing better than they are. The AA working environment is about as hostile as a foreskin at a bris.

  257. amy

    8/7/2005 at 6:50 pm

    As an MBA student with a specialization in Lbor Relations, I’ve studied the AA case from a variety of angles–from organizational behaviour to collective bargaining–on a number of occassions.
    First and foremost is how UNITE HERE has let this issue drop for two years now. Were there actually a viable case for them to push through, they would have pursued it at some other level or through some other angle at some point between now and then. It’s simple benefit-analysis: if could conceivably pay-off, someone would make it. But it wouldn’t.
    The workers had been so outraged over having been initially manipulated by the union that they demanded an election be held and UNITE backed down. Why would they back down? Becuase they hadn’t a proverbial leg to stand on.
    The AA incident was the first in US history, outside of agriculture, to see an industrial protest against a labor organization.
    Had that protest been coerced, moreover, the workers had ample access to the media–the LA Times being in the same neighborhood. That channel wasn’t pursued, however, because the protests were legitimate; there was simply no management participation.
    Besides, Charney enjoys support from two prominant LA labor advocates: Gil Cedillo and Antonio Villaraigosa (the current mayor of LA). To repress any effort of his Latino worker base would have been suicide as Senator Cedillo and Mayor Villaraigosa could never afford to neglect their respective electoral foundations.
    That the workers never attempted to access the media and that UNITE dropped the ball so quickly, finally, are both staunch grounds for the case that media has been too over anxious to capitalize on the antics of an already established media darling that it couldn’t be bothered to pursue an objective investigation of the matter. If you’ll notice, all the sources cited in regards to Charney’s alleged union-busting antics have been Labor propaganda machines, and not even specific personalities within the organization. It’s really the stuff that lazy student-style journalism is made off, and something that big business is ready to capitalise on so that Charney’s is an example they won’t soon have to follow.

  258. Heather Zeiden

    8/9/2005 at 4:30 am

    I was really happy and excited to find a place that believed so strongly in sweat-shop free labor. That is why i’m so pissed that he is ok with degrading women to sell his product. No I’m not saying other companies are any better but if he’s trying to make a difference then he should use other ways to advertise his clothing.

  259. Becca

    8/9/2005 at 6:30 pm

    Ck, I’m anything but a blind skeptic. I work right here in LA in the apparel industry. So you had a nice little field trip to the factory? Just to put things in perspective, what you characterize as Dov’s concern for his employees getting their paychecks promptly and having more micro waves for shorter lunch lines is nothing more than making certain nothing interferes with production. Slowing down production decreases output and decreasing output has a negative effect on the bottom line. You obviously have never worked in manufacturing. You don’t know more than me, all you know is what Dov decided he wanted you to see you gullible little fool. As for all the Latino workers you saw? Dov hires lots of Latinos. He also pays them less than other non Latino employees and you will NEVER see a Latino in a management position unless it’s in the shipping department or in the factory. $11.00 an hour is it no matter how qualified they are for advancement. $11.00 an hour in LA is not exactly what I would call a living wage unless of course you live with your parents and with the cost of gas in LA you’d have to live next door to the factory too. Amy, I’m sure our new Mayor Villaraigosa would feel differently if he had a conversation with some of the hard working, dedicated ex American Apparel employees that left to work for companies that don’t practice discrimination.

  260. ck

    8/9/2005 at 6:41 pm

    Yo Becca, that wasn’t me. That was some dude called JC. I am ck – always in lower case. Just for the record. And, you know, it wouldn’t hurt if you moderated your language a bit. Name calling is not nice and doesn’t make your case any more compelling. So now what you’re saying is that the $13 (not $11) an hour salary paid out by AA is insufficient and discriminatory, and that there are “dedicated ex American Apparel employees that left to work for companies that don’t practice discrimination.” Like what? McDonalds?

    Heh. I’m kidding. So Becca, tell me, I have many friends in East LA who would love to know where they too can get these good jobs that pay living wages for manual labour at companies that don’t discriminate. I’d like to know too because I always want what’s best for my homies. Their english language skills are weak but they work hard. So please, feel free to plug whatever company you want here. I’d love to hear about these places. So go right ahead. I have a pen and paper, ready to take the info down.

  261. Becca

    8/9/2005 at 9:51 pm

    I’m not talking about manual labor JC. Did I get that right?. Any factory job could only be considered skilled labor not manual labor. Manual labor might be something like digging a ditch. The $11.00 an hour job I referred to at American Apparel held by Latinos is an inside customer service position that requires a very healthy understanding of the manufacturing process. Working with customers that place large orders. Keeping them happy, solving their problems, things of that nature. A good customer service rep is very valuable to any company. The going rate for this type of position in LA is $15.00 to $20.00 an hour based on experience. Tell your homies pick themselves up an LA Times, there are plenty of positions of this type in the classified section, Sorry if I offened you.

  262. themiddle

    8/10/2005 at 4:29 am

    So these people have the wool pulled over their eyes and without Becca, JC and ck don’t know how to find the classifieds in the LA Times? Strange, you’d think the word would spread like wildfire if they could practically double their salaries overnight. What is Charney doing to keep them so blind to the facts?

  263. Becca

    8/10/2005 at 10:29 am

    I’m not sure how it works where you live Middle or for that matter where you work. But it isn’t required for a boss to share with any worker how much he pays another. If I were working at a company and I found out that someone who was doing the same job I do made more than I did and if that person had the same experience level with a similar hire date, it would be up to me to ask the boss why? So the fact is that most people feel very uncomfortable challenging their boss in this way. Would you? Most people under these circumstances either choose to leave and seek employment elsewhere or if they do have the courage to challenge the boss brand themselves a nuisance. So you’ve never heard of men making more than women for the same work? Well guess what it happens all the time. And at some companies different ethnic groups can sometimes make less than others for the same work if the boss thinks he can get away with it. I know people that have worked for Dov and this seems to be the case at American Apparel.

  264. themiddle

    8/10/2005 at 1:32 pm

    Actually, some companies pay people who do the same work different wages all the time because of issues like seniority. Conversely, some companies hire new hires at higher wages because the market has become more competitive. Organizations do this as well. A government office might pay a starting employee more today than the starting wage 5 years earlier, but the employee who started 5 years earlier has only been receiving cost of living upgrades which may not match the new hire’s starting salary.

    As long as discrimination isn’t involved, this is a legal practice. Are you alleging discrimination at AA? do you have evidence of this? I mean, you are obviously very angry at the company but so far you haven’t even provided the simple list ck requested.

  265. Becca

    8/10/2005 at 6:51 pm

    I’m not angry at American Apparel, nor am I angry at Dov. Dov can run his company any way he chooses. I’m simply trying to provide perspective based on fact. He has spun a lovely little fairy tale about what a pioneer he is, it’s simply a perversion of the truth. I regret not being able to name names but anyone that knows Dov knows that he would make my life and those I care about a living hell. That’s why I don’t use my real name. If you go back and read my last log you will see we are talking about two completely different scenarios. I’m not talking about seniority or education or experience. I’m talking about the same experience level, same or similar hire date, same job. Look you’re big on research, maybe you should do some. I can’t see where I owe ck or anyone else a list. Prove me wrong.

  266. themiddle

    8/10/2005 at 7:14 pm

    What should I research, Becca?

    Seriously. Other than getting a list of salaries at American Apparel, together with the responsibilities, seniority and racial/national background of these workers, how can I research your claims?

    I know this is a pretty free market where people can leave their job when they want to, and seek new jobs when they want to. If people feel underpaid at McDonalds, they can move to Starbucks. They can go to school and earn a degree and find a better-paying position. Unhappy AA employees can do the same.

    The employer has an obligation, by law, not to discriminate against employees, and along with federal legislation, the California Labor Board allows people to make claims and the state advocates on their behalf. Surely these American Apparel employees cannot be so ignorant as to be unaware of their rights, what their counterparts are earning, etc., etc., that they wouldn’t be taking steps to change jobs or in instances of illegality, against American Apparel.

    So what should I research?

    People work at particular companies for lower wages all the time because they prefer certain aspects of the work. So even if your claims are right – something which I cannot dispute because you’re not providing specifics that I can research – it could be they prefer the working environment or conditions at AA.

    Look, I have no idea whether American Apparel is a model company among companies in all respects. I know that they produce in this country while most of their competitors and most of their industry don’t. I know that they pay average wages higher than most of the equivalent type of work would pay. I know they enable employees to receive benefits. I know that a number of people have posted here under their names to defend the company, including current employees. What research should I do that will open my eyes?

  267. Becca

    8/10/2005 at 10:01 pm

    Middle my dear, I think you and I finally agree. Your description of American Apparel is accurate. Its a company manufacturing in the US as opposed to one taking jobs overseas. That is good. There are many others doing the same thing right here in LA so I’m not sure that Dov or his company should be characterized as anything special. He operates his business to be as profitable as possible, that’s why he’s in business. So along the way he has created the necessary hype to get noticed. Now unfortunately, he’s getting noticed for the wrong reasons. I guess it goes with the territory. The fact of the matter is that the only real way to research this matter would be to do an audit. I don’t see that happening anytime soon. I suppose you’re right, there have been people involved in this discussion that say they’re current employees at American Apparel that defend Dov. Can their authenticity be proven? I know many people that have worked for Dov who cringe at the mention of his name. I can’t prove to you that Dov Charney has a terrible reputation among those in our industry and I’m not speaking of his sexual compulsions. This is merely a discussion and it’s seems to finally be taking on some sense reality.

  268. ck

    8/11/2005 at 2:48 am

    Hi Becca,
    You stated that there are many other manufacturing companies in LA. However AA is different in that it is the largest sewn products facility in the industrialized world. Salaries paid to factory workers continue to way above the current average. I don’t personally know any oter factories in LA that do the same but if there are, let me know.

    People whose opinions can be seen as objective have made positive statements about AA – ie Angela Salas, of CHIRLA (the Coalition for Humane Immigrant Rights of Los Angeles)stated “There is no doubt this company is very progressive. They pay the right wages, treat workers well.”

    Stephen Wishart of UNITE HERE (The union invovled in the 2003 failed unionization drive at AA) stated “[Charney] has tried to make a good place to work…We also think it’s good to manufacture in the U.S., create decent wages.”

    Both these quotes came from this article which also gives an eye opening account of the unionization drive. Also interesting is a side by side comparison of what workers in a unionized factory get compared to what AA workers get. Your description of LA as a workers paradise seems a tad… wishful. AA also claims that there is a waiting list of over 1500 people jockeying for factory work there.

    I’ve read other supportive words of course, but you get the point. Also I’m kinda pooped.

  269. themiddle

    8/11/2005 at 4:29 am

    Becca, you still offer no evidence whatsoever. Claims are wonderful but insufficient. I would say that if I were in Charney’s shoes, I would see no reason for an audit. Why should he have to abide by rules that don’t exist for other companies? Furthermore, it’s a no-win situation for him. If he’s exonerated, somebody will fault the auditing process or auditors. If something faulty is found with the company, he will pay with bad publicity. Also, how would you assure the neutrality of the auditors?

    Look, if you have evidence, give it to us. If you have information about other companies, post it here and presumably some American Apparel employees will see it and tell their friends. Right?

  270. Becca

    8/11/2005 at 10:37 am

    They can get a copy of LA’s Apparel News, it’s all in there. Jobs, companies opportunities, etc.

  271. Vertically Integrated Culturejamming

    8/11/2005 at 1:18 pm

    To Becca and other critics of AA. Keep your wits about you. Jewlicious isn’t the only spin machine doing Charney’s PR work. Check out these suspiciously similar “journalism” blogs that cropped up almost overnight…

    http://freelancefilibuster.typepad.com/probing_propaganda/

    http://mediamythmashing.blogspot.com/

    Looks like our friends “JC” and “Amy” have been hard at work.

    Activists have a name for faux grassroots tactics like this. “Astroturf.”

  272. themiddle

    8/11/2005 at 1:50 pm

    Hey VIC, sorry, but I have no stake in this except that I’d like our economy to be stronger and people to receive a fair wage.

  273. ck

    8/11/2005 at 2:10 pm

    Wow Vic,
    Look all of us are interested in getting to the truth. We are and have been always open to alternative viewpoints and we are always open to being proved wrong. But your paranoid ramblings and accusations do not lend credence to your cause. They frankly make you look stupid or perhaps mildly insane. We all have lives and jobs and interests that extend far beyond American Apparel. I suggest that perhaps you broaden your horizons a bit.

    As far as the accusation of an orchestrated Astroturf campaign, all you need to do is look at the dates of the comments on this blog.

    This post was posted originally on August 2nd, 2004. Shortly thereafter it occupied the top of the search results on Google for the name “Dov Charney.” From that date until March of 2005 there were a total of 26 comments posted to the site. Then suddenly in late May and early June, after nearly 3 months of … nothing, until this very day we got an explosion of 245 comments. This is for a post that is now over a year old.

    Now lets see… what happenned in early June? Hmmm… Astroturf eh? Listen VIC. I look at my log files, I do whois lookups on the IP addresses. I’m no idiot. I know what’s going on and maybe you do and maybe you don’t, I don’t know. I can’t and won’t accuse you of anything. But I’m not that stupid. In my mind you are either a party to the manipulation orchestrated by individuals with a pecuniary interest in the outcome of the Dov Charney lawsuit, or you are their useful idiot. That’s the way I see it.

    Now do everyone a favor, get out and ride a bike or something. Go on a date, read a book, eat a vegetable. Please.

  274. hexod

    8/11/2005 at 2:13 pm

    Vertically, what do you call it when you like stalk a person like say Dov Charney and put unflattering posters of him all around the neighbourhood that he lives in? What do they call that? Is that also Astroturfing?

    I personally don’t like Astroturf, but I love them Astros! Go Houston!

  275. esther

    8/11/2005 at 2:16 pm

    VIC, I’m also stakeless as can be here. We’re not spinning anything here (unless I missed that staff meeting). But I do have to object to whatever sizing guidelines they’re using: the American Apparel site says that the stretchy fabrics fit women of all sizes, but these shirts are cut really small.

  276. ck

    8/11/2005 at 2:21 pm

    Yo esther. Alls I know izat I saw you in that jewlicious @ the beach t-shirt by american apparel on that NYC Israel Day parade video. And you looked fiiiiiiiine!

    Am I right huh? Am I right?

  277. Becca

    8/11/2005 at 3:10 pm

    Wow, the double standard rears its ugly head. First you guys (Dov supporters) say that Dov’s detractors can’t prove anything we say. We’re supposed to provide proof. We’re not allowed to use strong language or make unkind characterizations. Can you prove anything you say??? Paranoid ramblings? Mildly insane? Pretty shitty fellows. Maybe there’s a logical reason Dov is attracting all this negative attention. If it quacks like a duck…..

  278. Vertically Integrated Culturejamming

    8/11/2005 at 3:17 pm

    “Look all of us are interested in getting to the truth. We are and have been always open to alternative viewpoints and we are always open to being proved wrong. But your paranoid ramblings and accusations do not lend credence to your cause. They frankly make you look stupid or perhaps mildly insane.”

    Stupid. Mildly insane. Paranoid.

    Damn! I was at least hoping to be dubbed “upfront” or perhaps a “benign eccentric.” I guess I’d have to jack off in front of a reporter and accuse women of initiating domestic violence to earn such forgiving language!

    “We all have lives and jobs and interests that extend far beyond American Apparel. I suggest that perhaps you broaden your horizons a bit.”

    My horizons are plenty broad. But that’s not what we’re here to discuss, is it?

    “This post was posted originally on August 2nd, 2004. Shortly thereafter it occupied the top of the search results on Google for the name “Dov Charney.” From that date until March of 2005 there were a total of 26 comments posted to the site. Then suddenly in late May and early June, after nearly 3 months of … nothing, until this very day we got an explosion of 245 comments. This is for a post that is now over a year old.”

    So, is all of this interest in AA really part of a co-ordinated smear campaign by Gloria Allred and some disgruntled ex-employees? Don’t insinuate, CK. If that’s what you believe, tell us straight up.

    If you do believe this, perhaps you’re the paranoid. When I google “American Apparel” or “Dov Charney” I find countless blogs and user forums. Not to mention articles in Business Week, The Jewish Journal, The New York Times and elsewhere.

    Are all these folks operative in a smear campaign? Or maybe, like me, they’re people who are repulsed by Dov’s misogynist showboating. Maybe they’re people who have taken the self-described “hustler” at his word and decided that they don’t want to be hustled.

    “I look at my log files, I do whois lookups on the IP addresses. I’m no idiot.”

    I’m no idiot either. And no paranoid. When an anonymous blogger start spreading rumors that the accuser in a high-profile sex harassment case is a total Friendster slut, I think it’s reasonable to assume that said “journalist” is a shill for the accused (or to use The Middle’s insinuating language: “an interested party.”)

    Look at the two blog links I sent and tell me honestly that the language used in them, and the timing of their publication doesn’t seem to indicate a PR effort on Dov’s part. And tell me with a straight face that those blogs weren’t authored by the folks known to us as “JC,” “Reason” and “Amy.”

    “I know what’s going on and maybe you do and maybe you don’t, I don’t know. I can’t and won’t accuse you of anything.”

    Thank you. That sounds fair, but then you say…

    “But I’m not that stupid. In my mind you are either a party to the manipulation orchestrated by individuals with a pecuniary interest in the outcome of the Dov Charney lawsuit, or you are their useful idiot. That’s the way I see it.”

    I’m confused. First you say you’re not gonna accuse me, and then you accuse me anyway. What’s with the double dealing? Perhaps you need to “fisk” yourself again.

    “Now do everyone a favor, get out and ride a bike or something. Go on a date, read a book, eat a vegetable. Please. ”

    I’ve been on a date, read a book and eaten a vegetable all in the last 24 hours. But this is all a distraction from the issues.

    You can continue to paint me as a crackpot or as a sinister agent of a smear campaign. In both cases, you’re wrong.

    But if you want me to leave again, I’m only too happy to do so. Hanging around a three card monte game and telling people how it’s rigged usually pisses off the dealer. I can understand why you’d want me to leave.

  279. themiddle

    8/11/2005 at 3:34 pm

    VIC, please stay. We need the content. 😉

  280. ck

    8/11/2005 at 3:37 pm

    Geez vic,

    You’re welcome to stay. This is a public forum. Say whatever you like. We’ve never stopped you. Believe it or not, we don’t really care that much. It would however be nice if once in a while you brought something interesting to the table. So far, baseless accusations is all we got.

    I have no idea who set up the blogs in question. I can say that we’ll see pretty soon if they are shills or legitimate bloggers. Running a good blog involves more than the creation of just one or two articles. It requires a sustained effort. Kind of like what you’re doing.

    What can I tell you Vic. Your persistence is just suspect. As an allegedly disnterested and uninvolved party ya sure seem to be in here a lot, talking about one issue. Is it any wonder we’re a little suspicious?

    I’m sorry if I offended you in any way by calling you a useful idiot. Who knows? Maybe you really have no stake in this and are motivated by pure altruism. Also when Googeling, please note the dates on the bulk of the articles. It’s ll very suspicious.

    OK, I gotta go and get a new tin foil hat.

  281. the real hexod.us

    8/11/2005 at 6:35 pm

    just for the record. i did not post comment #274. if i have something to say i say it on my blog.

  282. JC

    8/11/2005 at 7:31 pm

    VIC,
    So is that what your impression of a cornered animal looks like. Why is it so hard to believe that there are actually people out there who hold the opposite opinion of you.
    You know, just because our communications skills betray a bit of a post-secondary education, it doesn’t mean that we’re predisposed to buy into all that leftist hubris that’s so fashionable around campuses.
    Are you so eager for a fight to justify cause that you’ll ravenously chase down any rumour that there might be a baddy somewhere out there?
    You should follow my example and spend a few days away from this blog and actually try to get laid. After the endorphins permeate your endocrine cycle, the world won’t seem like such a hostile place.

  283. Vertically Integrated Culturejamming

    8/11/2005 at 8:23 pm

    “So is that what your impression of a cornered animal looks like. Why is it so hard to believe that there are actually people out there who hold the opposite opinion of you.”

    Oh, I’m sure that many people hold opinions which differ from my own. But I also have no doubt that some of Dov’s defenders are also shilling for him on these forums and blogs.

    I’m even more suspicious when a faux journalist appears on the net to imply (among other things) that the accuser in a sex harassment suit is a Friendster slut. Let’s face it “JC,” you’re closely involved with Dov and his company. As Becca says, “if it walks like a duck…”

    “You know, just because our communications skills betray a bit of a post-secondary education, it doesn’t mean that we’re predisposed to buy into all that leftist hubris that’s so fashionable around campuses.”

    Dunno. Haven’t been on a campus in a decade. Is that where you learned how to be a fake journalist?

    “Are you so eager for a fight to justify cause that you’ll ravenously chase down any rumour that there might be a baddy somewhere out there?
    You should follow my example and spend a few days away from this blog and actually try to get laid. After the endorphins permeate your endocrine cycle, the world won’t seem like such a hostile place.”

    You’re a charmer. If someone disagrees with you, they probably just need a good fucking! Sounds like one of Dov’s bon mots!

    But since you’re so fond of your “post secondary” education, try this little reading exercise. Compare your post here to this blog post.

    Same overheated free market prose. Same messianic portrait of an embattled CEO. Same cute microwave anecdote.

    Do you deny this is you?

    When you’re done getting laid, come back and enlighten us.

  284. Becca

    8/11/2005 at 9:29 pm

    Wow JC that really drives your argument home. Sounds like something you’d hear in a junior high school locker room. Makes you sound very intelligent and I think now everyone knows they can trust what you say is the truth. There is no room on this blog for opposing opinions. Your unrelenting need to have the last word and a malicious, irrational, uninformed last word it is, is proof of that.

  285. ck

    8/11/2005 at 10:27 pm

    Oh fer … what is the matter with you people?? GET. LIVES. What is this? Forensic writing analysis? I fully expect Dov’s friends to come to his defense. I also fully expect people on the other side, lawyers, union consultants, disgruntled former whatevers to also post here.

    What’s your deal VIC? 28 comments in less than 3 months? Is it any wonder your motives are suspect?

    And Becca? What is your problem? You talk about JC as if he is a member of this blog team. He isn’t. He is a member of the public just like you. Please feel free to express your opposing opinion. Please allow others to do the same.

  286. judenraus

    8/11/2005 at 10:55 pm

    big serprise, the jew lusts after the young christian girls. jews always do that, defiling young girls and using his money and power to satisfy his unatural disgusting lust. that charney jew is probably got himself a big fat jew liar lawyer and he will get away with it. fucking jews.

  287. Vertically Integrated Culturejamming

    8/12/2005 at 1:20 pm

    “Oh fer … what is the matter with you people?? GET. LIVES. What is this? Forensic writing analysis?”

    Not forensics. Just a simple comparison of two different pieces of writing. Since the formatting of my last post has since been lost, here it is again…

    Compare this

    To this

    Now are you gonna tell me that “JC” and the author of this blog aren’t the same person? And are you also gonna tell me that it’s cool for “JC” to pose as a quasi-journalist with (among other things) insight into the sex life of Dov’s accuser?

    You like to speculate over my motives, and you seem hostile to “baseless accusations.” So perhaps you could afford a little skepticism for Dov’s defenders. Especially when they engage in the kind of anonymous rumormongering you claim to hold in contempt.

    “I fully expect Dov’s friends to come to his defense. I also fully expect people on the other side, lawyers, union consultants, disgruntled former whatevers to also post here.”

    You seem to believe that the only possible critics of AA are those with personal grudges and/or profit motives. Would you assume the same about critics of WalMart, Nike or any other corporate entity? It seems like a simplistic view of human behavior. All “motives” reduced to capitalist ones.

    Let’s not forget that it’s Dov Charney who introduced that heady mix of political rhetoric, porongraphy and anti-feminist crusading into the marketplace. Now, I’m supposed to act like I don’t have strong opinions about it?

    “What’s your deal VIC? 28 comments in less than 3 months? Is it any wonder your motives are suspect?”

    Aha! So your true talents lie in mathematics, not rhetoric. You may not be able to debate the substance of my posts, but at least you can count them!

  288. themiddle

    8/12/2005 at 2:31 pm

    I dunno, it seems ck (and I, among others) have debated the “substance” of your posts (ad nauseam).

  289. ck

    8/12/2005 at 3:21 pm

    sorry vic, we always turn long URLs into hyperlinks because they mess up the formatting of the entire page. I hope you don’t see that as some kind of nefarious plot.

    Vic wrote:
    “You seem to believe that the only possible critics of AA are those with personal grudges and/or profit motives. Would you assume the same about critics of WalMart, Nike or any other corporate entity? It seems like a simplistic view of human behavior. All “motives” reduced to capitalist ones.”

    Perish the thought. One might get quite righteously indignant and then decide to comment as a result of that. That’s totally believable. But you know, we run a fairly busy blog here and I simply can’t help but note both the quantity and quality of your comments. They’re a little higher than average. One can’t help but notice that. As far as others, like I said, if it was a fact that Charney was a union buster and an exhibitionist and a sexual predator and everything else that is alleged, sure people being pissed off would be normal. But things are rarely black and white and it seems to me that those on the anti-Charney side lack a little, you know, nuance. The sins of Walmart and Nikee are very well documented and beyond denial. The things said against Charney and AA are allegations but they are often voiced as fact.

    And I am sorry if you feel that the substance of your posts haven’t been debated. If I had the time to go over everything that’s been written, maybe we can do that, but I always feel like you never really answer my questions.

  290. ck

    8/12/2005 at 3:46 pm

    Oh one other thing VIC, if I may, the Web site you pointed us to, as proof positive of some sort of american apparel astroturfing campaign, is a typead site. The other one is a blogger site. Anyone can open one of those annonymously, no? Do you think a well financed operation by a fairly wealthy company would engage in something as patently stupid as what you describe?

    I mean yeah, you’re right, the typead site is pretty much a word for word lifting of the comment in question that appeared in Jewlicious. What’s also curious, and please do not feel like I am accusing you or anything, is that both those sites have links BACK to Jewlicious. That would be pretty remarkably dumb too, no? Especially given that they jacked their content from Jewlicious.

    Finally, how did you even find those sites? They would usually pop up in my referers but it seems to me that the firts and only place that makes reference to those sites is … your comment.

    Again, I am not in any way shape or form suggesting that you created those sites to make AA look idiotic and/or nefarious. Anyone monitoring technorati or blogpulse for blogs mentioning charney could have found out about those sites. Either way, if it was created by AA it’s totally idiotic, and if it was created by anyone opposed to AA it would be equally idiotic. Neither blog was promoted because I haven’t gotten any referer traffic from them.

    So again, not so black and white is it?

  291. Becca

    8/12/2005 at 3:59 pm

    ck, my “problem” is that the only substance you and JC offer to this discussion is to impugn the intelligence, sex life or motives of those that speak against Dov. My problem is that you don’t hold yourselves to the same standards you might hold me to. Produce evidence, provide research data. I will be willing to bet that although some of you say you’ve met Dov, you know nothing about the garment industry and how it works. Therefore anything you have to say is devoid of the truth because it lacks continuity. I’m not sure how you’ve gotten the idea that I have disallowed you to express you opinion. I think your opinion has been adequately expressed. So knock yourself out. Just to tie what I’ve posted heretofore on this site let me try to make it simple. My problem with Dov is his that he has perpetrated a huge misconception public eye. He created the necessary hype to make himself look like he pioneered a “no sweatshop manufacturing company” While every legitimate garment manufacturer in LA must adhere to the same standards or risk being shut down and fined with their goods confiscated. He bad mouths his competitors, which only serves to make him look bad or worse than he is. You may say I’m bad mouthing Dov but I would never do it to a customer, it’s too low class. I don’t have the same issue about using young girls to advertise, if they’re doing it at their own free will then that’s their decision. If he’s guilty of sexual harassment, the courts will decide the cases on their merit. Yes he turned his talent as a sharp entrepreneur into a multi million dollar international company. That’s great, it’s the American way! I just don’t think an owner of a company the size of American Apparel should think he’s above the law. Which brings me to my last and final problem with Dov. He exploits anyone he can for his own interests.

  292. ck

    8/12/2005 at 4:11 pm

    Becca,
    I’ll be the first to admit my ignorance. But you stated:

    While every legitimate garment manufacturer in LA must adhere to the same standards or risk being shut down and fined with their goods confiscated.

    You mentioned “legit.” There are many operations that are not legit. I think it’s pretty much acknowledged all around that AA pays above average salaries. Are there other factories in LA that pay as much as AA? Who are his domestic competitors exactly?

    Your other comments about the proper disposition of legal issues are refreshingly fair, I have no problem with that. As far as Dov exploiting anyone he can, I really can’t speak to that at all. I don’t know what that entails and/or what the relevance is. I take it you know him or knew him and your personal experience with him was bad. That’s just a guess and it’s not meant as a dig.

  293. JC

    8/12/2005 at 5:11 pm

    Found a few down-to-earth reasons why a casual approach to masturbation is okay and, therefore, doens’t make you a lech:
    to kill time
    make love to the computer
    no money for drug
    psychic sex with someone you wouldn’t want to be with except for a 10 minute fuck
    practice having orgasms
    attempt to love oneself
    bored with sermon in church
    give the ghost in the graveyard a thrill
    stay a virgin or celibate
    avoid new relationship complications
    to scare the cat
    psychic sex with anyone you can’t have [my personal favourite]
    give to a sperm bank
    keep in shape in case someone new comes along
    start the day right
    relieve depression
    form bonding with employees (Bill Clinton Style)

    Say what you want, but reason speaks louder than any reflexive battle-cry.
    Stop and think hard… You know it makes sense… Oh Yeah

  294. JC

    8/12/2005 at 5:15 pm

    Hey VIC,
    I’m psychically bonding with you right now

  295. Vertically Integrated Culturejamming

    8/12/2005 at 5:22 pm

    “Perish the thought. One might get quite righteously indignant and then decide to comment as a result of that. That’s totally believable. But you know, we run a fairly busy blog here and I simply can’t help but note both the quantity and quality of your comments. They’re a little higher than average.”

    I’m glad you think my posts are of higher than average quality. As for quantity,…well, yeah I’ve got free time. And a neverending supply of fresh material. I’m sure you’ve heard that American Apparel’s presence in the hipper parts of LA is more total than the US occupation of Baghdad.

    “One can’t help but notice that. As far as others, like I said, if it was a fact that Charney was a union buster and an exhibitionist and a sexual predator and everything else that is alleged…”

    He’s not an exhibitionist? Guess I was confused by that episode where he masturbated in front of the Jane reporter. Repeatedly. Guess I was thrown off by those ads depicting him in bed with an employee. Or the ads depicting his bare ass. Or his very public remarks about his sexual tastes and proclivities. CK, do you actually read your posts before hitting the publish button? You’re saying it’s not an established fact that Charney is an exhibitionist. Frankly if he wasn’t one, we wouldn’t be here!

    As for being a “sexual predator” and a “union buster,” I can’t “prove” these charges. But my hunch is that there’s some substance to them. Mind you, I can’t “prove” that Michael Jackson is a pedophile, that OJ killed Nicole or that Karl Rove revealed the name of a covert agent. But I am free to use my brain to develop an informed opinion.

    “And I am sorry if you feel that the substance of your posts haven’t been debated. If I had the time to go over everything that’s been written, maybe we can do that, but I always feel like you never really answer my questions.”

    Funny, I feel the same way. I’ll make you a deal. I’ll answer any questions you have for me (barring those which betray my identity) if you answer these:

    1) “JC” has essentially said that one of Dov’s accusers (by the name of Mary Nelson) is a slut. Do you think that this type of remark, made anonymously is unfair? And why haven’t you treated that remark in the same censorious manner with which you treated previous gossip on this blog?

    2) When Dov says that “women initiate most domestic violence,” do you agree with his statement or do you disagree? Do you condemn the statement?

    3) Dov was quoted in the Jewish Journal, implying that he is the victim of an anti-semitic smear campaign. Now I understand you’re highly critical of the Jewish “victim culture.” How do you feel about Dov’s remarks?

    “Oh one other thing VIC, if I may, the Web site you pointed us to, as proof positive of some sort of american apparel astroturfing campaign, is a typead site. The other one is a blogger site. Anyone can open one of those annonymously, no? Do you think a well financed operation by a fairly wealthy company would engage in something as patently stupid as what you describe?”

    Well, that’s the whole definition of “Astroturf.” It’s when a powerful and monied interest uses grassroots channels to create the impression of spontaneous, grassroots support to butress its image. Far from being stupid, it’s brilliant. A Typepad site is actually a great example. And it’s also of a piece with AA’s “realistic” marketing aesthetic. Here’s a definition:

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Astroturfing

    “I mean yeah, you’re right, the typead site is pretty much a word for word lifting of the comment in question that appeared in Jewlicious. What’s also curious, and please do not feel like I am accusing you or anything, is that both those sites have links BACK to Jewlicious. That would be pretty remarkably dumb too, no? Especially given that they jacked their content from Jewlicious.”

    Only shows that said bloggers have been checking in with your site. My hunch is that at least one of these folks is “JC/Reason” and maybe “Amy.”

    “Finally, how did you even find those sites? They would usually pop up in my referers but it seems to me that the firts and only place that makes reference to those sites is … your comment.”

    Well, as you’ve pointed out, I have a somewhat obsessive fixation on American Apparel. Therefore I google Charney and AA everyday. That’s how I found ’em. Here’s another one I just found:

    http://assthetics.blogspot.com/

    As with the other two blogs, the inaugural post is a fantastically wordy defense of Dov Charney. Not much since.

    “Again, I am not in any way shape or form suggesting that you created those sites to make AA look idiotic and/or nefarious. Anyone monitoring technorati or blogpulse for blogs mentioning charney could have found out about those sites. Either way, if it was created by AA it’s totally idiotic, and if it was created by anyone opposed to AA it would be equally idiotic. Neither blog was promoted because I haven’t gotten any referer traffic from them.”

    As idiotic as masturbating in front of reporters? Or conducting job interviews in your underwear?

    I mean, I kind of like your theory in a total double-agent, Phillip Dick, mindfuck sort of way. But ought we not apply Occam’s Razor here.

  296. JC

    8/12/2005 at 5:32 pm

    Bah,
    Now that the weekend is here, I’ve actually had time to read through some of your last postings, VIC. Now if you think that I’m on a payroll because I’ve got information from someone who looked into this first hand and am willing to formulate opinions on that information instead on the hearsay of everyone else (who I have never seen) who’s bitching and screaming, then YOU are PARANOID.
    How can I be so sure? Because I’ve psychically bonded with you! That’s why!

  297. Vertically Integrated Culturejamming

    8/12/2005 at 6:38 pm

    If I were paranoid, I’d point out that starting a blog would be an easy way to collect IP addresses of your critics.

    If I were paranoid I’d point out that only the accused person in a lawsuit would go out of his way to smear his accuser in a public forum.

    If I were paranoid, I’d point out that the initials JC suggest a martyr complex.

    If I were paranoid, I’d point out the striking similarities in political rhetoric, the bullying manner and the disturbing messianic overtones.

    If I were paranoid, I’d point out that Dov Charney is famously known to soliloquize about the joys of masturbation.

    If I were paranoid, I’d say it’s creepy for someone to suggest that they’re psychically-linked to a stranger.

    If I were paranoid, I’d suggest that JC is Dov Charney.

    I just might be paranoid.

  298. ck

    8/12/2005 at 6:47 pm

    Vic wrote:
    Guess I was confused by that episode where he masturbated in front of the Jane reporter. Repeatedly.

    I spoke to Claudine Ko several times. Never once did she imply that Dov’s behavior was unwanted or done against her will. What “imply” she stated out and out that it was done with her consent. So that whole Jane Magazine thing is a non-starter as far as I am concerned. What 2 consenting adults do is none of my business, even if one of them splashes it all over the pages of a nationally distributed magazine.

    Guess I was thrown off by those ads depicting him in bed with an employee. Or the ads depicting his bare ass. Or his very public remarks about his sexual tastes and proclivities.

    I was talking to a friend of mine about that the other day. She thought it was actually kind of cool that he put himself out like that. He has women posing in a suggestive manner and then he pastes his ass in an ad for a gay magazine? That’s pretty cool. Let’s see the people responsible for 98% of the fashion ads out there do the same thing! That and his public comments about his sexuality are definitely exhibitionistic however. But a sentence that states “Dov Charney is an exhibitionist and a sexual predator” implies that he’s out in school yards wearing nothing but a trench coat frightening children. It implies lack of consent. Exhibitionism in a consensual setting is fine. In a non-consensual setting it’s wrong and often illegal. It’s all a matter of nuance.

    As for being a “sexual predator” and a “union buster,” I can’t “prove” these charges. But my hunch is that there’s some substance to them. Mind you, I can’t “prove” that Michael Jackson is a pedophile, that OJ killed Nicole or that Karl Rove revealed the name of a covert agent. But I am free to use my brain to develop an informed opinion.

    Well that’s cool. Very reasonable. You’re going on a hunch. Fine. But at least pretend to consider the possibility that your hunch is not 100% accurate. Take into consideration comments and evidence to the contrary.

    Now onto your questions.

    1) I don’t stop anyone from commenting. If someone wants to comment here and say that Mary Nelson is a paragon of virtue, who has never discussed sexuality in the office, who has never used foul and or sexual language in an office setting, who didn’t have intimate conversations with co-workers about sexual escapades, who didn’t receive obscene photos in her email, who wasn’t under tremendous financial pressure and who didn’t offer to settle for … what was it … $2 million, well then they are free to do so. My logs tell me that her legal team visit this blog often. To whatever extent JC called Mary Nelson a slut, well, that’s just not very classy. Or very nice. Not at all. But ya know vic, I cannot read everything. I’m now looking at comment 242 where JC said:

    Mary Nelson is a self-proclaimed trash-talking hustler; C If Nelson’s grievances can be dismissed on the grounds of her professed character, then charges of Charney fostering a sexually hostile environment are inadmissable.

    Is this what you mean by saying he called her a slut? Uh… ok. Given the level of acrimony and the name calling that’s gone on here, that really slipped past my radar. Sorry.

    2) The statement in and of itself is patently ridiculous. The word from AA is that it was taken out of context. The quote itself, published at my alma mater’s paper, The Link was as follows:

    He pursues his point. “Out of a thousand sexual harassment claims how many do you think are exploitive? There are almost no sexual harassment charges from men against women. They’re not acceptable; it’s considered that only women are the victims.

    “Women initiate most domestic violence, yet out of a thousand cases of domestic violence maybe one is involving a man.” And this, Charney decries, “has made a victim culture out of women.”

    The first paragraph talks about the difficulty male victims of domestic violence have in seeking legal redress. Surely you can’t find offense in that. There are male victims of domestic violence and it’s a huge shame to call the cops and tell them your little wife beat you up. So many just clam up.

    The second paragraph simply makes no sense. None. The full quote is as follows: Women initiate most domestic violence, yet out of a thousand cases of domestic violence maybe one is involving a man. So what does this mean? That domestic violence does not involve men? That it only involves what, violent lesbian couples?

    Or does it mean that most domestic assault complainants are women, and out of 1000 domestic assault cases only one involves a man making the complaint? Because male victims are ashamed and/or not taken seriously? That’s my reading of the full quote and the context. And I don’t think I am stretching it at all. It’s really clear from the context.

    3) An anti-semitic smear campaign? Again, I don’t, I can’t, read everything that comes out about Dov. Not even close. There’s one anti-semitic comment (#286) against Dov here. Are there elements of anti-semitism in the anti-Dov camp? I don’t know. I certainly wouldn’t be so quick to make such a suggestion. I mean its not impossible, but if I were Dov, I wouldn’t make a big deal out of it. That’s actually the first I’ve heard of that really. None of the other interviews I’ve read with him make that accusation.

    As far as Occam’s Razor goes, yes, the simplest explanation is the best. And it just strains the bounds of credulity that a well monied company would do something as patently stupid as copying text from a comment and turning that into a series of blogs. Hell, I could not even understand half of what that assthetics guy or gal was writing. Lots of people acknowledge that Charney is pretty good at marketing. If this is the best he can do, well, Yikes! Like I said, it just doesn’t make sense.

    Think about it this way, if you were hired to conduct an astroturf campaign, and you were given lots of resources, would ya do it this badly? You’re saying its possible because Charney has done patently stupid things before, but now the company is embattled, everything they do is under a microscope, would they still proceed stupidly? Makes no sense Vic, sorry.

    Now, the sabbath is almost upon me and so I don’t even have time to ask you any questions. OK. One question. What is your favorite cheese?

  299. ck

    8/12/2005 at 7:00 pm

    Aw man… you just had to comment again… here we go:

    If I were paranoid, I’d point out that starting a blog would be an easy way to collect IP addresses of your critics.

    standard blogger does not show ip addresses, typead does but what’s an IP address going to tell you anyway?

    If I were paranoid I’d point out that only the accused person in a lawsuit would go out of his way to smear his accuser in a public forum.

    And the accuser wouldn’t?

    If I were paranoid, I’d point out that the initials JC suggest a martyr complex.

    Even if the martyr in question is a Jew who has no connection to or affinity with Jesus Christ?

    If I were paranoid, I’d point out the striking similarities in political rhetoric, the bullying manner and the disturbing messianic overtones.

    I have no idea what any of that means.

    If I were paranoid, I’d point out that Dov Charney is famously known to soliloquize about the joys of masturbation.

    That’s just fact. No paranoia there. I mean me and all decent people hate masturbation, but ya know, there are all kinds of perverts out there who like to do sick deviant stuff like… masturbate. Ugh, I can scarce utter the words without feeling sick to my stomach!

    If I were paranoid, I’d say it’s creepy for someone to suggest that they’re psychically-linked to a stranger.

    OH CRAP – DO i HAVE MORE STUFF TO READ?

    If I were paranoid, I’d suggest that JC is Dov Charney.

    Yow. Don’t you think he has better stuff to do?

    I just might be paranoid.

    You just might be. The IP addresses associated with JC are not those used by the AA office in LA which is where Dov Charney is now. Just sayin …

  300. Becca

    8/12/2005 at 9:13 pm

    ck, my last and final on this. Dov does not pay above average wages. He pays the going rate, no more no less.

  301. Alexi

    8/14/2005 at 7:55 am

    Becca My problem is that you don’t hold yourselves to the same standards you might hold me to. Produce evidence, provide research data.
    Isn’t the burden of proof on the accuser? Innocent til proven guilty, right?
    You say He exploits anyone he can for his own interests. Uh oh, you better warn Rami Watid.

    From VIC, American Apparel’s presence in the hipper parts of LA is more total than the US occupation of Baghdad. Wtf does that mean?

    Astroturfing — cool. Is that what you’re doing here?

    I have to wonder, why are you so afraid of having you identity revealed? Will Charney send a team of thugs to your house and force you to wear aa clothing? Or would knowing who you are make what you say less credible? Do you stand to benefit from Charney’s downfall? If this turns into a Scooby Doo mystery, can I be Velma?

  302. grandmuffti

    8/14/2005 at 1:02 pm

    Someone wants to be Velma? But why?!!

    I guess Alexi can be Vlema only if we can make CK be Fred. He’d probably look nice in that ascot (made by AA?). If TM can give up his penguin-hood he can be scooby and maybe we can let Esther and Laya duke it out for the role of Daphne. Mobius will be forced to play Scrappy.

  303. ck

    8/14/2005 at 1:32 pm

    The average wage for sewing operators in LA is $13.95 an hour?? Sweet! I had no idea clothing manufacturers in LA were so generous. And so discreet about it too. Until this moment even Charney’s detractors admitted that his employees were indeed well paid. Someone ought to tell the thousands on waiting lists hoping for a job at AA that they are wasting their time. There are plenty of great, well paying jobs all over LA!

    Seriously Becca, I had no idea. How has AA managed to pull the wool over so many people’s eyes like that for so long?

  304. esther

    8/14/2005 at 2:15 pm

    I guess that makes Muffti Shaggy. Not at all surprised. Just know that I fully expect that Laya would end up as Daphne, and I’d be the evil amusement park owner who’d say “and I would have gotten away with it all, if it weren’t for you meddling kids…”

    And yes, it took a cartoon reference for me to comment on this megathread.

  305. Jacob

    8/14/2005 at 3:42 pm

    I am not sure about all the other issues about Dov, but his products are great! His shirts are extra soft.

  306. themiddle

    8/14/2005 at 4:01 pm

    Rrrrff, woof woof!

  307. grandmuffti

    8/15/2005 at 9:32 am

    Muffti would have made a good shaggy; now his hair is short and his eyes a little less bloodshot…He still loves them scoobie snacks though.

  308. Becca

    8/15/2005 at 12:09 pm

    ck, you obviously don’t live in LA. $13.95 isn’t remarkable. For whatever reason you choose to believe this is what he pays. I’m not sure why unless you’ve seen employees pay checks. Go to http://www.theapparelnews.com and you will see that there are lots of jobs available in the garment industry that pay what can only be considered the going rate of 13-14 bucks an hour. Minimum wage in the state of CA is almost $7.00 an hour. This would be for something like a teenager working at a fast food restaurant. Skilled labor gets paid much higher. Since people generally tend to believe what they read, no matter how contrived, it stands to reason that folks like you that don’t know anything about the industry can easily have the wool pulled over their eyes. Dov can make up any fantasy he likes about how great he treats his employees and how much better he pays them than anyone else and most people will believe it. Waiting lists for a job at American Apparel???? Oh please.

  309. ck

    8/15/2005 at 12:40 pm

    So Becca, you’re saying there’s no waiting list for jobs at American Apparel? I mean I’ve been in the factory, I’ve seen the dollar amounts people get paid every hour – they post them. Some teams were making $20 an hour. $13 was like the minimum. I’m just relating what I’ve seen – maybe its a big elaborate ruse, what can I say? So please, do enlighten me.

  310. Becca

    8/15/2005 at 4:06 pm

    Correction, it’s http://www.apparelnews.net, sorry. ck, who makes 20 an hour? managers? I’m not sure how to make this any clearer. What Dov pays is not more than the going rate for this type of work in this town.

  311. Vertically Integrated Culturejamming

    8/15/2005 at 6:50 pm

    JC’s true identity notwithstanding, a couple things should be clear to anyone reading this thread…

    In comment #293, JC posted his ode to the benefits of masturbation. Included among these was: “psychic sex with anyone you can’t have [my personal favourite]”

    Then in message #294, JC says to me: “Hey VIC,
    I’m psychically bonding with you right now.”

    And again in message #296 JC says to me: “How can I be so sure? Because I’ve psychically bonded with you! That’s why!”

    Summing up: First JC says he likes to have “psychic sex” with others while masturbating and then he twice informs me that he’s “psychically bonded” to me. If this isn’t some form of creepy sexual bullying, I don’t know what is.

    Taken together, how can I interpret these remarks as anything other than an absurd sexual threat?

    JC’s gross and stupid remarks gave me a small taste of what many women must feel when men resort to invasive and hostile sexual innuendo.

    When the man behaving this way is also your boss and in your physical space, the sense of powerlessness or anxiety is magnified.

    And frankly the fact that you’ve failed to address it CK, either through censure (which you’ve used to keep decorum when ACE and the Revolutions were around) or through removal of the posts speaks volumes about your biases in this case.

    Since you haven’t taken JC’s remarks seriously, I’ve got a pretty good idea why you’ve been running defense for Charney. You don’t take this issue seriously. Or does it take “legal” evidence and a court judgement to convince you that JC’s remarks were sexually-hostile and out of line?

  312. themiddle

    8/15/2005 at 10:46 pm

    🙄

  313. ck

    8/16/2005 at 11:40 pm

    Geez Louise Vic,
    I’m not one to reveal IP addresses but unless Charney can be in two completely different places at the same time, JC and Dov Charney are NOT the same people. Sure, theoretically Charney could write a response and email it to a crony somewhere else and then said crony can post it in order to fool me, but somehow I have the feeling that Charney has more important things to do than to take such elaborate measures in order to pull the wool over my eyes (I am the only one who can see IP addresses).

    As far as JC’s odd comments, frankly I haven’t really dissected them to the extent you have. However, given your offense, I would urge future commenters to avoid being creepy.

    I would also urge you to avoid making baseless accusations. As far as I know JC is not Charney. As for how seriously I take sexual harassment, well, I take it very seriously. I hate people who impose unwanted sexuality or sexual advances against others. I’ve read the research extensively. I hate the fact that there are scores of victims too afraid of the system and the repercussions to confront their victimizers. I hate that the law in the area is only just begining to address traditional shortcomings and misconceptions that have continued to perpetuate genuine victimhood. I know people who have been victims of sexual trauma, people that I care for a great deal. But you know what I hate most of all? I hate opportunists who take advantage of the sympathy we have for genuine victims and who try to advance frivolous cases that are more about an unjustified financial payoff than they are about real trauma. They make it that much harder for the real victims. Consequently, to whatever extent Charney is guilty, like I said before, he’s not going to get any sympathy from me. But to whatever extent he’s innocent, well … well, well, well.

    BTW, how did you like my responses to your questions?

  314. Vertically Integrated Culturejamming

    8/17/2005 at 2:48 pm

    “As far as JC’s odd comments, frankly I haven’t really dissected them to the extent you have. However, given your offense, I would urge future commenters to avoid being creepy.”

    Well, that’s a very mild admonishment, CK. “JC” has been using bizarre sexual innuendo ever since he appeared on this blog. But his last two posts said in essence, “I’m jacking off right now, while thinking about you.” Frankly they don’t take much dissection. We don’t need to pull them apart and study their nuances. They amount to sexually-hostile taunts.

    “I would also urge you to avoid making baseless accusations. As far as I know JC is not Charney.”

    You seem really worried about “baseless accusations” except when it comes to Mary Nelson. Or when divining my “hidden” motives for criticizing AA.

    But I’ll try to be more precise. What if I said JC appears to be *closely allied* with Dov? He also seems to keep the same travel itinerary. In comment # 228, dated August 2nd, he claims to be in Montreal, flirting with an investigative journalist who’s got some dirt on Dov’s accusers. In comment #256, dated August 6th, he claims to be “on vacation” in California, and is invited by Dov to tour the factory during Charney’s triumphant homecoming. This absurdly messianic account can also be read in expanded form on the following blog: http://freelancefilibuster.typepad.com

    So let me get this straight. First JC who “rolls with” staff from the Montreal offices of AA finds himself having drinks with a loose-lipped investigative reporter. Then four days later, he’s in California taking a tour of the AA factory, with Charney as his host? Again, if he ain’t Dov, he’s definitely close to Dov. And, as discussed earlier, equally prone to charming sexual banter.

    “As for how seriously I take sexual harassment, well, I take it very seriously…Consequently, to whatever extent Charney is guilty, like I said before, he’s not going to get any sympathy from me. But to whatever extent he’s innocent, well … well, well, well.”

    But see, this is what makes your whole argument a shell game. You’ve got all bets riding on the sex harassment lawsuit. (If convicted, Charney is wrong. If exonerated- or settled of court, Charney’s right.) If we only focus on the lawsuits, then we have to ignore what’s already a matter of public record. For instance:

    The press has talked to *several* former and current employees. We know that applicants must supply Polaroids of their body and face. We know that unofficial policy dictates that women cannot wear underwire bras. And we know that the retail staff are dressed in sexy, short shorts. Hell, they were having a sidewalk party in a kiddie pool last weekend in LA! This is a sexually-charged environment, CK.

    And not all of Dov’s critics are looking for a cash settlement. Here’s a quote from the NYT article:

    Hannah Rappleye, an 18-year-old sophomore at New School University who worked as a sales associate in an American Apparel store in New York for about three months this year, said she had no complaints and left her job on her own volition last May. But she said she would never seek to work at American Apparel again.
    Mr. Charney’s first words to her during one of his visits, she said, were “You look hot today.” And when she expressed her objections to a sexually explicit picture on a store wall, her colleagues laughed it off, she said.
    “At first they make you feel special,” Ms. Rappleye said. “If you were chosen to work for the company, that meant that you were attractive enough to sell sex successfully.”
    “But after a while,” she said, “it feels disgusting.”

    Is Rappleye lying? Is this another “baseless accusation?” Has Charney ever contested her story? Don’t you think it’s a window into a bigger problem at AA?

    I agree with you. Let’s stop talking about the lawsuit. That’s between the plaintiffs, Charney and their lawyers. Let’s talk about what Hannah Rappleye said to the New York Times. Does she paint a picture of a company doing the best for its workers?

    “BTW, how did you like my responses to your questions?”

    OK, Here goes…

    “1) I don’t stop anyone from commenting. If someone wants to comment here and say that Mary Nelson is a paragon of virtue, who has never discussed sexuality in the office, who has never used foul and or sexual language in an office setting, who didn’t have intimate conversations with co-workers about sexual escapades, who didn’t receive obscene photos in her email, who wasn’t under tremendous financial pressure and who didn’t offer to settle for … what was it … $2 million, well then they are free to do so.”

    Looks like you got the same memo JC did! Forgive me for asking, but how do you know that Mary Nelson offered to settle? And did you pull the rest of these hypotheticals out of thin air?

    I don’t know the woman in question, so I’d be wary of commenting on her character one way or the other. But it does seem to me a classic tactic in any sexual harassment case. Anonymous smearing of the accuser’s sexual reputation.

    And of course none of this hypothetical scenario would sufficiently negate the charge that AA is a hostile working environment. Indeed if Mary Nelson were allowed to act in a sexually-provocative manner at AA, free from repurcussions, that tells us a lot about their corporate culture. And it’s the boss who is ultimately accountable for setting the tone.

    “2) The statement in and of itself is patently ridiculous. The word from AA is that it was taken out of context.”

    Well that’s something worth reporting. If Charney doesn’t think that “women initiate most domestic violence,” or that women have a “victim culture” I suggest that he make these clarifications very public. It shouldn’t take the annoying prodding of an anonymous person like me to get some clarity on the matter. Much of my distaste for Charney has been fostered by such public statements. So, if he actually doesn’t believe such misogynist crap, I’d like him to sing it loud, if you don’t mind.

    But truth be told, I don’t believe any “context” would have salvaged the remarks. He’s made equally obnoxious statements since then. In the Jewish Journal piece he says “I could pull my penis out right now and no one would be offended.”

    If you don’t think I can draw conclusions about a man’s behavior and attitudes from his statements to the press, then you’re making a ludicrous proposition. Jewlicious is rightly annoyed by Harry Belafonte’s recent anti-semitic remarks. Why not apply the same scrutiny to Dov’s sexist ones?

    “3) An anti-semitic smear campaign? Again, I don’t, I can’t, read everything that comes out about Dov. Not even close. There’s one anti-semitic comment (#286) against Dov here. Are there elements of anti-semitism in the anti-Dov camp? I don’t know. I certainly wouldn’t be so quick to make such a suggestion. I mean its not impossible, but if I were Dov, I wouldn’t make a big deal out of it. That’s actually the first I’ve heard of that really. None of the other interviews I’ve read with him make that accusation.”

    Fine. But the point is that he made the statement. He thinks that the “Jewish community should have an inquiry.” You say you don’t have the time to read everything about Dov, but you clearly had time to take a tour of his offices for your puff piece “Adventures in Charneyland 2.” As long as you’re taking a quasi-journalistic approach, you may want to read what’s already been written.

  315. velma

    8/17/2005 at 3:00 pm

    Vic, lets say JC and Dov are best friends, hell, lets say they are lovers. So what? Doesn’t that just make JC in a better position to have insider knowledge of what Dov is really like and what really goes on? I don’t see what the problem is. If accusations were flying all over the web about me, I would expect my friends to come to MY defense, wouldn’t you?

  316. ck

    8/18/2005 at 10:22 am

    Vic wrote:But his last two posts said in essence, “I’m jacking off right now, while thinking about you.” Frankly they don’t take much dissection. We don’t need to pull them apart and study their nuances. They amount to sexually-hostile taunts.

    Again, I didn’t really see anything JC wrote as sexual because I assumed you were both male. But I guess what you’re saying is that you’re female and JC is presumably male. IP addresses are notoriously poor at determining both sex and sexual orientation.

    You seem really worried about “baseless accusations” except when it comes to Mary Nelson. Or when divining my “hidden” motives for criticizing AA.

    As you may or may not know I am based in Montreal. Several folks that work for Dov in LA are also from Montreal and are acquaintances of mine. Consequently I have become privy to information that is not public but I imagine will eventually become public should a trial ever happen. I should probably keep stuff like that to myself but sometimes I can’t resist making veiled reference to it. Suffice it to say that to whatever extent I have any credibility, some of the accusations made against litigants is not as baseless as it might seem.

    As for Dov and JC being the same person, well, to whatever extent I have info on that, it does not seem to be the case. IP addresses from postings and emails just do not match up. They may indeed be close, but they are not the same people. As has been noted, there’s nothing wrong with friends defending friends.

    We know that applicants must supply Polaroids of their body and face.

    What? I witnessed the interview process. Applicants are photographed by AA staff. The Polaroids are not lascivious and they take just one – its a head and shoulder shot of the applicant, male or female, holding a paper up with their name on it. The interviews are short and afterwards the staff get together, put the polaroids on a table and discuss the merits of the applicants while deciding who to hire. In the two such sessions I witnessed it was Dov and 5 female staff members going over the applicant polaroids. Nothing sexual or nefarious was going on.

    We know that unofficial policy dictates that women cannot wear underwire bras.

    Uh… I’m no expert on bras but have you seen how bad a typical AA top looks when paired with an underwire bra? Not such a good idea, not so great for sales. There are other types of bras one could wear as an alternative to underwires. One doesn’t run and jump much while working at a retail t-shirt shop. One can do without the extra support an underwire offers for a shift. Sport Bra technology has made some great strides of late.

    And we know that the retail staff are dressed in sexy, short shorts.

    I’m not saying this is impossible, but I have been to AA stores in Montreal, NY and LA and have yet to see any staff members wearing sexy short shorts (unfortunately). But then again, better sexy short shorts than the most proper sex neutral outfits made by sweatshop laborers getting paid $107 a month in their unionized indonesian factories.

    Hell, they were having a sidewalk party in a kiddie pool last weekend in LA! This is a sexually-charged environment, CK.

    I thought the Puritans landed on the east coast! I dunno, maybe its because I live in a very liberal city inn a socialist country, untouched by the ravages of republican administrations and the pernicious influence of the religious right, but seriously, what you describe just does not seem that awful to me. Sexually charged atmosphere? I went to a funeral last month with a gay friend who, despite the sad occasion, couldn’t stop raving about all of the cute male funeral home employees. We’re talking morticians here. Had my friend been working at that funeral home, it too would be a sexually-charged environment for him. And so what? I think the issue that is more relevant is that of consent and the existence of measures to address employee concerns should things become unpleasant or unwanted.

    As for Rappleye, what can I tell you. I’m a vegetarian so I don’t work at a butcher shop, but if I did it would be because I thought I could handle it. If later I was nonetheless repulsed, well then I’d quit. That’s what Rappleye did. Is that so remarkable? I mean it’s a fashionable clothing store, sex and fashion go hand in hand, what’s so remarkable?

    Indeed if Mary Nelson were allowed to act in a sexually-provocative manner at AA, free from repurcussions, that tells us a lot about their corporate culture. And it’s the boss who is ultimately accountable for setting the tone.

    Sigh. But is it actionable? We’re not talking a public library here, we’re talking a fashion business. I mean if you find the objectification of men offensive you wouldn’t work as a Chippendale’s dancer would you? Maybe I should just stop commenting on these things – I am not American and it seems there’s a cultural chasm between our sensibilities. Some Americans tend to view anything sexual as automatically dirty. Judging by your TV programing, it seems death and violence are much more acceptable than any reference to sex. Like, what’s with those Victoria’s Secret catalogues? None of those women seem to have nipples at all. It’s very odd.

    It shouldn’t take the annoying prodding of an anonymous person like me to get some clarity on the matter.

    Any reasonable look at the comments would allow one to see that Charney is no misogynist. He was talking about male victims of domestic violence. In the same Link article it was reported that fully 60% of Charney’s upper level managerial staff is female. Funny no one picked up on that. Look, if someone comes up to me and says “Hey ck! Your Mother is a whore!” what do I do? I know for a fact that my Mother is not a sex trade worker. Do i respond with a dizzying series of facts meant to conclusively demonstrate that my mother does not in fact accept cash for sexual favors? Or do i just walk away and say nothing? Well, I walk away and say nothing because responding implies that the notion of my Mother as a hooker is a debatable one. Perhaps AA is taking the same approach.

    Jewlicious is rightly annoyed by Harry Belafonte’s recent anti-semitic remarks. Why not apply the same scrutiny to Dov’s sexist ones?

    Once again, who the fuck is Harry Belafonte? And what he said was not so much anti-semitic as it was stupid and uninformed and maybe senile (dude’s really old right?). Is it really sexist to say that one can pull out one’s pud? I thought sexist would be something like “Women should not be allowed to drive” or “All women are whores” One of our regular commenters recently used the term “shiksa bitch.” I told him to cut that out. Granted I am no paragon of linguistic virtue but my heart’s in the right place. And even if i should chastise someone and I don’t, our hard work provides you with a forum where you are free to do so yourself. Neat how that works, huh? Besides we’re Jewlicious not politicallycorrectalicious.

    Anyhow, back to the rest of the blog … it aint all about Charney you know. If anyone else is reading this ongoing discussion please feel free to weigh in with your own opinions.

  317. esther

    8/18/2005 at 11:29 am

    CK, you said it yourself: you really don’t know anything about bras. Underwires do provide additional support and shape, but are pretty much mandatory for women who are not As or Bs. (Am I really talking about boobs? Jeez.) And Sportsbras, while possibly the most supportive, often result in the dreaded appearance of uniboob. If the employment rule indeed requires (however unofficially) AA employees (or is it just for models?) to eschew the underwire, it would seem to me a way (however unofficial) to keep out fuller-figured women.

  318. Becca

    8/18/2005 at 12:46 pm

    At the end of your busy blogging day ck I would hope you agree that any discussion , debate, argument or whatever it is that’s going on here should be about balance. Opposing views provide all the necessary angles to get the clearest picture of the truth. Your truth as someone close enough to Dov to be part of an interview process for prospective employees or hanging out his factory only shows that you are biased. Most friends would be. I don’t know of any company that photographs applicants for the type of work required at American Apparel as part of an interview process. Do they have to be sufficiently cute before Dov will hire them? That my friend is discrimination!

    LA a puritanical city??? Oy vey! I grew up in Hollywood, sorry but that’s where the sexual revolution began 40 years ago. I don’t know ck, don’t Catholics tend to be sexually repressed? You sure have a lot of them in Montreal. Our current administration is the unfortunate result of what happens when people don’t get their asses out to vote. They don’t represent the majority and have nothing whatsoever to do with mainstream America’s thinking. This is not argument about the sexual conscience of our society. It’s about what’s fare and right in the workplace.

    I can see why someone from Montréal would think that Dov pays his employees better than other companies. Again there is no balance if you don’t bother to find out what other companies here in LA pay. Maybe it’s time to peel that wool off from over your eyes.

  319. laya

    8/18/2005 at 1:12 pm

    becca, hiring someone cause they are cute (and reasonably appropriate for the job) happens ALL THE TIME. Do me a favor, walk into Barney’s and find me an unattractive sales person. Go to a nice restaurant and find a fat waitress. The fashion industry is about selling an IMAGE, more than a product. Why is it a problem for AA to hire people that fit the image they want to project?

    Taking photos is not uncommon either, it is a quick, easy reference point to make sure everyone knows they are talking about the same person. It happens in many places that do mass interviews.

    And everyone has their panties in a ruffle about dov and sex, but honestly, do you feel more morally correct buying clothes that were produced by overseas child labor? If you can’t deal with either, then I suggest you buy yourself a sowing machine and a start growing your own cotton.

  320. Vertically Integrated Culturejamming

    8/18/2005 at 1:53 pm

    “Again, I didn’t really see anything JC wrote as sexual because I assumed you were both male.”

    That’s a very odd assumption. And the conclusion you draw is equally odd. Are you saying it’s only sexual if the perpetrator is male and the target is female?

    “But I guess what you’re saying is that you’re female and JC is presumably male. IP addresses are notoriously poor at determining both sex and sexual orientation.”

    Well neither of these things should matter in a political debate, should they?

    “As you may or may not know I am based in Montreal. Several folks that work for Dov in LA are also from Montreal and are acquaintances of mine. Consequently I have become privy to information that is not public but I imagine will eventually become public should a trial ever happen. I should probably keep stuff like that to myself but sometimes I can’t resist making veiled reference to it. Suffice it to say that to whatever extent I have any credibility, some of the accusations made against litigants is not as baseless as it might seem.”

    Well that’s a pretty big strike against your objective position, isn’t it? Not just friends with Montreal staff, but also privvy to legal strategies in the sex harassment case. You’ll forgive me if I think this compromises some of your credibility. Your reference wasn’t as veiled as you’d suggested. You basically parroted the defense’s line against Mary Nelson.

    “As for Dov and JC being the same person, well, to whatever extent I have info on that, it does not seem to be the case. IP addresses from postings and emails just do not match up. They may indeed be close, but they are not the same people. As has been noted, there’s nothing wrong with friends defending friends.”

    Certainly not. But Dov’s friends do him no favors when they engage in sexually-abusive taunts. And if JC is Dov’s pal, he should tell us so. Either here or on his blog. It took me this long just to find out how, um…compromised, you were.

    “I’m not saying this is impossible, but I have been to AA stores in Montreal, NY and LA and have yet to see any staff members wearing sexy short shorts (unfortunately). But then again, better sexy short shorts than the most proper sex neutral outfits made by sweatshop laborers getting paid $107 a month in their unionized indonesian factories.”

    Well, come visit sunny California someday, CK. Plenty of eyecandy for you at the AA stores out here. Oh, and I love how you made “unionized” a dirty word!
    .
    “I thought the Puritans landed on the east coast! I dunno, maybe its because I live in a very liberal city inn a socialist country, untouched by the ravages of republican administrations and the pernicious influence of the religious right, but seriously, what you describe just does not seem that awful to me.”

    Tarring me with the Puritan brush again! It’s a nifty rhetorical maneuver, pitting American sexual neurosis against Canadian enlightenment, but the charge won’t stick to me. I’ve already told you that I have no problem with porn. Or strip clubs, prostitution or all manner of consensual sexual variation and expression. But I am no fan of sexual harassment. I think that all signs point to a sexually-charged atmosphere at AA. And one where the boss is perhaps the least capable of noticing and respecting boundaries.

    “Sexually charged atmosphere? I went to a funeral last month with a gay friend who, despite the sad occasion, couldn’t stop raving about all of the cute male funeral home employees. We’re talking morticians here. Had my friend been working at that funeral home, it too would be a sexually-charged environment for him. And so what? I think the issue that is more relevant is that of consent and the existence of measures to address employee concerns should things become unpleasant or unwanted.”

    And by the very limited standard you propose, AA has clearly failed. Don’t take my word for it. Just google “American Apparel.” Or try to find the 600+ folks who joined the Unamerican Apparel page on Myspace before it was mysteriously deleted. Or ask Hannah Rappleye if her concerns were addressed.

    “As for Rappleye, what can I tell you. I’m a vegetarian so I don’t work at a butcher shop, but if I did it would be because I thought I could handle it. If later I was nonetheless repulsed, well then I’d quit. That’s what Rappleye did. Is that so remarkable? I mean it’s a fashionable clothing store, sex and fashion go hand in hand, what’s so remarkable?”

    Yeah, it’s a clothing store though. It’s not a strip club. Many people are attracted to AA by it’s politically-righteous marketing and cool business model. If they’re really signing up for a sexual free-for-all, perhaps that should be made clearer. I read the employment section on their site, and I obviously missed the disclaimer.

    I’d also mention that I know people who work in the porn world. And much of what’s been described at AA wouldn’t fly in the offices of Hustler. Really. All American companies are bound by the same laws with respect to sexual harassment. Even at Playboy, the boss is on thin ice if he calls his 18 year old intern “hot” and tells her to leave her bra at home. Or repeatedly asks underlings to fuck him.

    “Sigh. But is it actionable? We’re not talking a public library here, we’re talking a fashion business. I mean if you find the objectification of men offensive you wouldn’t work as a Chippendale’s dancer would you?”

    I wasn’t aware that the three plaintiffs were working as exotic dancers. I thought they had professional resposibilities beyond being eyecandy for Dov and the customers. Do you really mean to compare AA to Chippendales? How quickly we’ve fallen from the earlier claims to AA “challenging the beauty myth” and looking after its workers.

    “Maybe I should just stop commenting on these things – I am not American and it seems there’s a cultural chasm between our sensibilities.”

    Oh, I’m sure you can find some dour Canadian feminist who will agree with all of my puritanical American thinking! Just troll the lesbian coffeehouses of Montreal! You’ll find one.

    “Some Americans tend to view anything sexual as automatically dirty. Judging by your TV programing, it seems death and violence are much more acceptable than any reference to sex. Like, what’s with those Victoria’s Secret catalogues? None of those women seem to have nipples at all. It’s very odd. ”

    Well I didn’t come here to defend American TV and Victoria’s Secret. But I can’t resist pointing out the fallacy you’re advancing. In your argument, people are either pro-sex, freedom-loving, and pro-American Apparel or they’re anti-sex, puritanical and anti-American Apparel.

    The womens’ movement had many aims for improving conditions and opportunities for women. Female sexual autonomy and sexual agency are a part of that mission. But just because women earned the power to say “yes” doesn’t mean they forfeited the power to say “no.”

    “Any reasonable look at the comments would allow one to see that Charney is no misogynist. He was talking about male victims of domestic violence.”

    I’m sorry, but I have read and re-read your interpretation of Charney’s remarks and I don’t see anything in there about male victims of domestic violence. And unless we’re talking about domestic violence in gay male couples, the incidence of domestic violence with male victims is very low. Don’t take my word for it, read the facts:

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Domestic_violence#Gender

    “In the same Link article it was reported that fully 60% of Charney’s upper level managerial staff is female. Funny no one picked up on that. Look, if someone comes up to me and says “Hey ck! Your Mother is a whore!” what do I do? I know for a fact that my Mother is not a sex trade worker. Do i respond with a dizzying series of facts meant to conclusively demonstrate that my mother does not in fact accept cash for sexual favors? Or do i just walk away and say nothing? Well, I walk away and say nothing because responding implies that the notion of my Mother as a hooker is a debatable one. Perhaps AA is taking the same approach.”

    Hmmm. Well, the approach is not working! Instead Dov keeps digging fresh holes for himself.

    “Once again, who the fuck is Harry Belafonte? And what he said was not so much anti-semitic as it was stupid and uninformed and maybe senile (dude’s really old right?).”

    Well, among other things Belafonte is a celebrated musician, a WW2 vet, a left-wing activist and the first black person to win an Emmy. He was also the first person of color to make “bodily contact” with a white person on national TV. In short, he’s a very accomplished American who said some very stupid things.

    I wouldn’t suggest that his age has anything to do with his nutty beliefs about Jews. There are plenty of younger people who spout the same nonsense, or worse.

    But here’s the thing. The flap over Belafonte demonstrates that what public figures say and what they believe actually *matters.* If Dov doesn’t believe women ask for it, all he needs to do is tell a journalist. Or post a clarification. Anywhere.

    “Is it really sexist to say that one can pull out one’s pud?”

    Not sexist necessarily. But pretty bad form when you’re being interviewed about the working conditions for women at your company! Some people might get the idea that Dov doesn’t take the concerns seriously.

    “I thought sexist would be something like “Women should not be allowed to drive” or “All women are whores” One of our regular commenters recently used the term “shiksa bitch.” I told him to cut that out. Granted I am no paragon of linguistic virtue but my heart’s in the right place. And even if i should chastise someone and I don’t, our hard work provides you with a forum where you are free to do so yourself. Neat how that works, huh? Besides we’re Jewlicious not politicallycorrectalicious.”

    Ah, the “PC” canard. If feeling sympathy for Hannah Rappleye when she describes being treated like a piece of meat makes me PC, I’ll wear the label with pride.

    But look how far we’ve fallen in our estimation of American Apparel, CK. We used to argue about whether the company was really better and more humane than its competitors in the garment biz. Now we spend most of our time saying that at least it’s not worse than working at Chippendale’s! My how the goalpoasts have moved!

  321. Becca

    8/18/2005 at 3:02 pm

    So what’s your point Laya? It’s ok for companies to hire based on looks? Just because other companies discriminate it’s ok for Dov to? Have you ever been in a position to hire and fire at any company? Here is the US it is absolutely NOT common nor is it legal to require an applicant to have a picture taken of them as part of the interview process no matter how convenient it makes it for the employer. Nor is it legal to even ask them their age. By the way, Dov is a manufacturer and owns retail stores. He is not hiring someone for a movie where their appearance needs to fit the character.

    As for moral correctness, unfortunately the world economy complete with sweatshops overseas is quite a dilemma indeed. How much money do you think the factory workers make that assembled the computer your typing away on?

  322. laya

    8/18/2005 at 4:31 pm

    my point is that it is reality, becca, and to act as if it is some egregious sin on the part of aa alone seems a bit short sided. It’s not a movie, but it IS the fashion industry. Looks count. A lot. You project an image, people buy it, that’s how it works.

    If it is in fact, illegal to take an applicants photo at an interview, then you may have something on the man. Do you know of anywhere that it states that the practice is against the law? Cause that would be news to me.

    I don’t know what went into making my computer, but I’m not all morally outraged that attractive people are used to sell clothes either, I was pointing out the incongruities in morality.
    And VIC, who put such a premium on objectivity? why is objectivity necessary for debate? Or necessary for fact to be fact? Once you have an investment in something you are now no longer allowed to talk about what you know of it?

    but whatever, I’ll lose interest in the whole thing again soon enough.

    this comment strain is totally out of control btw, but a great way to procrastinate…. back to real work.

  323. Becca

    8/18/2005 at 6:16 pm

    Yep that’s reality and companies get sued for it every day. Try telling a person of African dissent that they’re not getting hired for a job because they’re not white enough. I am completely mystified that on this website in particular discrimination seems to be no big deal

  324. laya

    8/19/2005 at 3:52 am

    becca, apples and oranges. please.

  325. Becca

    8/19/2005 at 10:42 am

    Apples and oranges? Pretty simplistic. Don’t you really mean double standard laya? Come on discrimination is freaking discrimination. There’s lots of talk on this site about anti Semitism. No one seems to think that’s ok or should be tolerated. But if you’re not a cute enough Jew you probably won’t get hired at American Apparel. Or maybe a young enough Jew. Or maybe a petite enough Jew. Apples and oranges laya? Which is the apple and which is the orange or are you just a banana? Aside from being illegal, how about that old moral dilemma?

  326. laya

    8/19/2005 at 12:02 pm

    Becca, go to a plus size women’s store and find a girl who is a size two. Go to a hip hop store and find a white, Anglo Saxon preppy kid who works there and whose last job was at the Gap. And don’t you dare you tell them they can’t wear their cable knit sweater and penny loafers to work. If you owned a nutritional health store for body builders, would you hire someone who was morbidly obese? (Actually, that might work… if the sales pitch was “I NEVER use thes poroducts, and look at me!)

    In retail, you hire the person who is most qualified to sell product. Not necessarily the person who is most experienced. Sometimes, especially in the fashion business, someone who is reflective of the look your store is promoting is sometimes going to sell more than someone who is merely more experienced, but not as attractive. That’s not discrimination. Each person is assessed on the basis of their ability to move product.

    I’m about as sick of hearing about anti semitism as I am sick of hearing people bitch about the fashion industry using sex and pretty people to sell clothes

    Discrimination for sexual orientation, race, or religion is clearly wrong and illegal. Absolutely. Hiring someone on the basis that they reflect your stores look and image and are therefore better able to sell your product does not fall under any of those categories.

  327. Becca

    8/19/2005 at 12:43 pm

    You said it better than I could laya. You think that discrimination is ok if it’s about the way people look. You think it’s ok to maintain a double standard if you can justify it with your silly analogy. I know all about the apparel industry, I work in it. What you describe is against the f-ing law. While some companies may practice discrimination o f this type, it’s still against the law….get it? Law suits abound just for this reason. That my dear, is reality.

  328. yitz

    8/19/2005 at 1:43 pm

    Every so often I get bothered by this issue. Laya, I could not agree with you more. You made some excellent points referring to the plus size and hip hop stores. We live in a capitalistic society and companies should be able to hire who they feel best represents them.
    The anti-discrimination laws in the US often go too far. A specific look is not only critical in modeling where the company is trying to sell clothes, but in any industry where image is important. The laws enacted to promote “equality” in the airline service industry are especially unjust. Airlines should be allowed to select their stewards and stewardesses based on their appearance. It gives the airlines a competitive advantage since people often have a more pleasurable experience flying in the company of attractive servers, and will be more likely to want to repeat that experience and give that airline their business again. Taking it to the extreme, do you believe Becca that a grotesque person who can equally well serve the food, walk the aisles, etc. should have an equal chance of being hired for that job? Also, I bet many airlines try to maintain an image of national identity and turn down many applicants from other nationalities. Are you disturbed that El Al doesn’t have the proportional amount of “qualified for the job” Mexican and Chinese stewards/esses who surely applied for those jobs?
    Let’s not fool ourselves. Looks matter in many different jobs. It’s a sad, unfortunate fact that the beautiful people (of all races) have an advantage, but that’s life. And until we turn from a capitalistic society into an extreme socialistic society demanding equality at all costs while ignoring each individuals utility, I will not be surprised to see the day when people become riled that top law firms are not hiring a proportionate number of intellectually challenged lawyers.

  329. Becca

    8/20/2005 at 11:47 am

    Yitz, laws are written for the many not for the few. Since we’re speaking hypothetically, let’s take a quick look at human nature. Most folks aspire to reach or in some way exceed the norm. But should the unlikely happen and a geeky white kid aspires to work in a hip hop shop, why shouldn’t he be able to? Should a Mexican decide to immigrate to Israel where the hub of El Al Airlines exists, because airlines hire from within their hub location, why shouldn’t he or she be able to? As for having a pleasant experience while flying, I prefer to be served by someone who is cheerful with good customer service skills rather than someone that is cute and bitchy, but that’s just me. I rather doubt that an intellectually challenged person would aspire to work in a law firm. Would they be able to fill out an application or write a resume? What job are we talking about? An attorney? Since law is pretty much a service industry and affected by the free market system, I don’t think an intellectually challenged person would get many clients. But since we’re speaking hypothetically, I guess anything’s possible. Now I’m not sure when the last time was that you saw a truly grotesque person out in public, they usually tend to hide away from the public eye as it’s much too painful. The natural order of things and human nature control to a great extent how people behave which includes the types of jobs they’re interested in having. People naturally gravitate towards things that reflect their own self image or skill set. I would agree that sometimes laws seem to go too far. Here in the states there are a lot of laws on the books that have nothing to do with modern life. Again, laws are written for the good and protection of society as a whole.

  330. JC

    8/20/2005 at 2:46 pm

    Becca,
    Just like law firms are affected by market forces, so it anything else. If it’s truly that unust that I staff my operation all attractive, then I’ll go under from their incompetence. If I don’t go under, however, it’s because your employees are competent, and if competency shouldn’t be judged by ugliness, then why should it be suspect because of beauty?
    Besides, if I own a hip-hop shop that is staffed entirely by black people, am I supposed to up and fire one because Robert Van Winkle wants a job?
    What the hell are you so pissed-off about anyway? And don’t try to deny it; you’d have to be to devote the time that you do to this blog.

    Now VIC,
    Turn off the X-Files DVDs and get some sunlight. Your kind of conspiracy-theory-paranoia is unhealthy in anyone under the age of 65.
    Listen, I’m a Montrealer, I go to McGill. Yeah, did go on vacation, and I did take a tour of the AA plant, but only because there’s all this buzz reverberating through every one that I seem know. When I took my tour, there were four or five other people along because THEY GIVE TOURS TO ANYONE WHO WANTS ONE, ANY TIME. Good for the other bloggers out there. I haven’t been on line because I was on the beach… GETTING LAID.
    Hey, if you’re in Montreal, e-mailme and I’ll send you my phone number. If not, turn off the DVD and GET SOME SUNSHINE.
    And I didn’t fuckking bully you! It’s called a joke, and I’m sure that those of the people here who actually get to see the opposite sex naked once in a while thought it was funny. You know, just because we disagree, it doesn’t mean that we have to be sworn enemies. I do this for FUN. If I took it seriously, I wouldn’t want to bother because I have better things to do in my free time other than HATE.
    Peace

  331. Becca

    8/20/2005 at 7:47 pm

    Well thanks JC for analyzing my motives. You certainly sound like someone that can make that type of judgment because you sound so balanced. Anger however is not what motivates my commentary. This blog is primarily Canadian in its thinking and perspective. American Apparel is exactly what the name implies, an American company operating in America governed by American laws. Dov came here to reap the benefits of operating his company here. I think he lacks sensitivity when it comes to playing by the same rules as everyone else. Actually he’s more than insensitive he’s incredibly arrogant and seems to feel that the laws should be suspended to satisfy his own agenda. This isn’t about anger or hate JC, it’s about a reality based perspective. Dov and American Apparel have become an urban myth. I personally get more excited about the truth than about hype. Ok, maybe I’m just a little angry but what makes me angry is ignorance.

  332. ck

    8/22/2005 at 11:38 pm

    Becca wrote: This blog is primarily Canadian in its thinking and perspective

    Becca, I am the only Canadian here. However, if by Canadian you mean liberal, or reasonable, or less shrill, or less sympathetic to hysterical levels of litigiousness then you are spot on in your analysis. As far as the law goes, what we have on the books is quite similiar to what you have in the US. To date, there is no judgement against Dov Charney and American Apparel. Of course we can be armchair judges all we like and we can contemplate the merit of the case without having access to all the details.

    For starters I would be very careful about branding anyone anything absent a judgement. Hence in making an analysis one ought to use words like alleged or accused or claim etc. Not moderating your language as such brands someone as guilty before they’ve had the chance to properly defend themselves.

    Becca Added: I think he lacks sensitivity when it comes to playing by the same rules as everyone else.

    Lack of sensitivity, or alleged lack of sensitivity is not a crime.

    Becca Added: Actually he’s more than insensitive he’s incredibly arrogant and seems to feel that the laws should be suspended to satisfy his own agenda.

    I don’t know where you get this tidbit from. Maybe you know him personally, I have no idea. However, the law is a living thing you know. It is constantly shifting and evolving. Being critical of the law and voicing your criticism is one of the ways that laws evolve. If we didn’t have this evolution, women would still not be allowed to vote and African Americans would still be slaves.

    So by all means feel free to voice your anger, but try and temper it with a reasonable argument as well as some basic fairness.

  333. ck

    8/22/2005 at 11:56 pm

    Further on the Becca front: But should the unlikely happen and a geeky white kid aspires to work in a hip hop shop, why shouldn’t he be able to?

    Because the owner of the hip hop shop does not owe the geeky white kid a job. I know it’s kind of cliched, but we still operate within a capitalist system and no one is owed a job. The shop owner is well within his rights to demand that the person he hires be qualified, have a demonstrable interest and knowledge of the product being sold and that all things taken into account, the candidate is the one most likely to generate the most sales.

    But lets take the American Apparel example. Most of the people that work in the stores are young and attractive (most, definitely not all). Does that mean AA is breaking the law? I mean I see how they hire – they go out on the street and look for people that have a certain look and ask them to come in for an interview. The interviews are done en masse and in effect, anyone who wants to, can show up. So are you saying that should someone who does not have the right look be hired over someone who does assuming they both have the same skill sets? You think that’s what the law says??? Becca, you need to read some law books. All employers are expected to be equal opportunity employers. What does that mean?

    Well US Federal law prohibits employment discrimination based on race, color, religion, sex, or national origin. Also prohibited is intentional discrimination based on age or disability. To whatever extent you feel AA violates these norms please by all means feel free to make a complaint to the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission. You ought to also read up about the law on their Web site. Nowhere does it say that people are owed jobs. Only that they can’t be discriminated on the basis of specific criteria.

    Just sayin …

  334. grandmuffti

    8/23/2005 at 2:15 am

    Not to be contrarian, but Muffti too is a proud Canuck. The rest of these mofos, however, do not share our love of maple syrup, hockey and cold, cold winters.

  335. Purim Hero

    8/23/2005 at 2:41 am

    Hold on… Maple Syrup – Vermont and Upstate NY, Cold winters the same, and right now nobody’s enjoying any hockey. I’m no Canuck, but I live through Cold Winters, and like my Maple Syrup Grade A Pure.

  336. grandmuffti

    8/23/2005 at 5:00 am

    Sorry Purim Hero; Muffti meant that none of the mofos who post here have the relevant canuck attributes.

  337. ck

    8/23/2005 at 5:00 am

    Yeah Purim Hero, but are you liberal? That’s the question!

  338. Purim Hero

    8/23/2005 at 11:10 am

    Used to be pretty liberal… I’m not really so sure anymore… Israeli politics are a lot more complex then the ol’ American ones. I think I tend to fall more to the right these days, as hard as it is for me to say that.

    What’s the expression, not a liberal by the time your 20 then you have no heart, not a conservative by the time your 60 then you have no mind. I’m 22, and I’m not sure whether I’m having a heart attack or just loosing my mind.

  339. JC

    8/24/2005 at 12:17 am

    Hey VIC,
    I’d hate to sling mud, but since you seem to believe that since I can write, I must be getting paid for all this, I was just wondering what’s with your lengthy detailed responses?
    Either you have a lot of free time because you don’t work, or this is your work. It’s like they say, he who smelt it, dealt it.
    You’re the one with the faulty e-mail addresses, not me. But that’s okay, ’cause I have nothing to hide. You want my Montreal number, e-mail me. But until then, keep up the good work Moulder…

  340. jami

    8/25/2005 at 10:54 am

    imagine you love the no-sweatshop, real-model aesthetic of american apparel. you want to work there.

    imagine you’re a man. no sweat.

    imagine you’re a woman. does he start to proposition/wank in front of you right there in the job interview? it sounds like yes he does. what if you say no? no job?

    it’s an unfair situation for women, NOTHING like this exists for men, and american apparel can’t consider itself progressive if it behaves this way.

  341. JC

    8/25/2005 at 5:22 pm

    Jami,
    Dude,
    There’s nothing anywhere about Charney busting a nut in front anyone during an interview. Even the girls suing him don’t claim that he’s ever done as much in front of them.
    The ONLY concrete thing about him masturbating in front of anyone is a Jane article, and as far as I can tell, that seemed perfectly consensual.

  342. ck

    8/25/2005 at 8:51 pm

    Uh jami? I’ve seen job interviews with Charney. I’ve spoken to his staff, some of whom are friends of mine and would confide in me if they were in fact subject to what you describe. However, none have alleged that Charney whipped it out during the interview. Besides, he has a lot of people working for him and for every person hired AA typically interviews 20 candidates. Can any one man really be such a prolific wanker? Don’t believe the hype jami.

  343. anonymous

    8/25/2005 at 9:05 pm

    i know who JC is.
    and im canadian too.

    ps: jc isn’t dov.

    ..just chiming in.

  344. JC

    8/26/2005 at 1:15 am

    It’s kind of funny. If you’re outspoken about an popular issue, then you’re an underdog worthy of sympathy. If you raise some about something taboo, though, then you must be evil incarnate, deviously advancing some sinister agenda.
    That ‘anonymous’ knows who I am, however, makes me nervous in that sexy kind of way. Was that you in my bushes earlier? What did you think about that little number I was sporting.
    Ah, I’m sorry for posting such smut on your blog (okay, I’m not really sorry because I’m still going to click ‘say it’), it’s just that I feel like Stiffler at gay bar.
    I’m kind of liking the attention, though. I just wish that I could sit in a room with you all so that I could wallow in your wondering gazes.

  345. Becca

    8/29/2005 at 11:38 am

    ck, you really seem like a very emotional person. I say this because you continue to take my comments and add your own special translation to them. First of all, I’ve never said that anyone should be “owed” a job. Here in the states, if a candidate is interviewing for a specific position with a company, it is their previous experience, applicable education, and ability and willingness to perform the required duties that are to be taken into consideration. Only this and nothing more. If an applicant is hired for a sales position in a retail environment there is no way to determine ahead of time the level at which they can or will produce. If the person conducting an interview believes that a really cute person will sell more than a less cute person, or be a better employee, they’re nuts. Further, when checking references, the only questions that are allowed to be asked are what dates the applicant worked from and to and what their pay rate was. You cannot even ask how they performed their duties, if they were fired or left in their own accord or if their supervisor thought they did a good job. As your own comments indicate, Dov looks for a specific type when hiring for sales positions in his stores. He takes photos of the applicants. If you don’t think a hysterically litigious person could, if they wanted to, turn this into a law suit based on discrimination, you too are nuts. You can’t deny a person work based on how cute they are or aren’t. If you ever worked in a human resource capacity or were ever in a hiring and firing position in the states, you would know this. I’ll say it again, Dov can run his company how ever he wants but he better get used to the controversy. If he is breaking the law, he better get used to the law suits.

    Just a question ck…who exactly are you characterizing has hysterically litigious, the people that are suing Dov for sexual harassment? How can you say anyone is hysterically litigious when you don’t know the outcome of the litigation? You are obviously supporting you friend. That’s a well and good. Friendship though is based on emotion. Your doing a very good job…keep up the good work.

  346. Pingback: Jewlicious » Dov Charney: American Mensch?

  347. Stacy

    9/25/2005 at 10:38 pm

    I got the October issue of Jane in the mail today and what did I see on the cover but “American Apparel CEO Swears He’s No Perv.” The article revisits the original, with Claudine Ko making a return trip to visit Dov Charney, and, indirectly, referencing Jewlicious… well, sorta…

    “… Subsequently, everyone from The New York Times and BusinessWeek to random bloggers have piled on the unfolding story… ”

    CK, aren’t you proud to be a random blogger. 🙂

  348. esther

    9/25/2005 at 10:46 pm

    Indirect references help no one’s PR campaign. Nor do they assist in padding our non-existent trust funds. Harumph.

  349. Chanda

    10/4/2005 at 8:21 pm

    I think the only reason this guy has so many people trying to defend or understand or justify his behavior is because he’s rich and almost famous. If you had a daughter and you lived in some small town in the mid west and she went to work at some lil’ gas station and she came home and told you her boss was masturbating around anyone who would watch, sat around in his underwear,tried to sleep with the young female employees, was always talking about “hot ass” and sex ect…ect.. i very much doubt you would tell her he was just a misunderstood genius who just said what he thought or that he was just a very honest free spirited guy with peculiar behavior, heck no!…You would probably say something more along the lines of…”Now you listen hear, i Don’t ever want you going back there to work around that “PERVERT” again! and get me the phone i’m callin’ 911!… I have seen pics of this man and all i have to say to all these young women who have had sex with him or watch him masturbate is uuummm….eeeeww. but he does peddle a mighty fine t-shirt.

  350. zach

    10/14/2005 at 4:37 pm

    I am assuming alot of the comments on here are from people who are NOT in the textile/apparel business. I AM, and I truly respect what AA is doing. If you don realize how revolutionry this business model is, then you are blind. Support this company. And #@!?! all of the critical people naysaying about AA’s sexual marketing, it is 2005, Paris Hilton is for sale on DVD and every cover of every magazine is half naked, get over it.

  351. themiddle

    10/14/2005 at 4:51 pm

    Yeah! And Paris Hilton would never ask permission before masturbating in front of a reporter!

  352. K.C.

    10/16/2005 at 3:50 pm

    Look the thing is, it is unclear, the alleged union busting. There were only 2 NLRB charges. Generally the union can have over a hundred. There is the union’s story. There is aa’s story. Let’s also remember that AA went out publicly and said to the union that they would be happy to hold elections and also provide workers during paid
    time so the union could lecture them about the benefits of the union.

    To everyone’s shock the union declined, and this compromise was at first suggested by a lot of pro union forces that told Charney if you want to come clean, this is the way to do it.

    Either way it was 2 years ago, and still the workers are not clamoring for a union. I was a customer at the time and from what I saw the workers were anti union and did not appreciate a bunch of students associated with the union trying to use tactics to get them on board. So the workers got aggressive and they signed petitions,
    held a rally. I was there. Everyone tries to blame Charney, on the worker’s anti-union sentiment, but this sentiment was really at a grass roots level.

    In the end, no one got fired during the union drive. Lets remember that there is not one sewing factory in LA that is unionized, and there are Latino groups that oppose unions for their own reasons. Remember, while workers have a right to unionize, they also have a right to be free from the union. AA conceded to a remedy on a no contest basis and complied with that remedy, so its even-steven on the union thing. I think on the union issue, vis a vis AA, that should be set aside at this point. Its old news. The thing is what is AA about now? How is it to work there,
    etc.? Seems like this company has made a lot of good progress. I buy T-shirts at AA speak to workers in the factory, and the company has
    really done something special for these people. Some of them are earning over 30k per year.

    Here’s a good article on the topic btw – link

    Regarding the harassment, there is a court case coming here. Let’s see how it goes. Its hostile work environment charges. There is no touching here. The lawyers for two of the plaintiffs have told the media they want to settle. The primary plaintiff is known to have some credibility problems here in the Hollywood scene. She is not a low level employee. She used to have her own company in town, with her own employees and it folded. Charney engaged her to help him with
    sales, and apparently according to parking lot talk she did not deliver. When Charney told her it was not working out, she ran to the lawyers and got her two friends, one who left for another job, and the other left to be a school teacher, to join in. At the time it was obvious they were looking for a quick pay out. But this Charney, he said, screw it, I am going to take it on.

    So now, let’s see what happens. I think Charney has been punished already by virtue of all the attention brought on by these lawsuits anyway. Let’s at least give him a chance and see what happens. If he is innocent, or the environment is not what the plaintiff’s are claiming it to be, then the media and anti-Charney blogs will owe him
    a glass of wine and an apology.

    In the end no body or no one is perfect. But let’s at least acknowledge that AA has put in a good effort and many people feel that it is a clothing company that the people of LA can be proud of for a lot of reasons. I think the company is one of the finest producers and distributors of clothing in the world and I wish Charney and his company the best. What ever happens, AA is a great company and an amazing work in progress. Let’s see where this company goes, a company many of us consider the pride of California.

  353. kjkjkj

    10/25/2005 at 4:40 am

    there WAS someone organizing a “secret union” the last i heard before i left this summer..

  354. Ex Customer

    11/4/2005 at 12:47 am

    Let me start with a disclaimer: I have no issue with women who want to pose in sexy ads for American Apparel. I also have no beef with women who (actually) want to sleep with Dov Charney.

    A couple of years ago, I got to know a female ex-employee of American Apparel. After hearing about her experience, I stopped shopping there.

    I stopped shopping at AA because I couldn’t stand the idea of giving a creep like Dov Charney my money. When I spoke to friends about my decision, many acknowledged that Dov was most likely a jerk, but they liked the way that the workers in the factory were taken care of and didn’t want to hurt the business by boycotting the clothing.

    I saw their point. 

    However, out of loyalty to my friend, I decided to stick to my plan. And when I heard about the recent sexual harassment charges that have been filed against Dov, I was glad I did.

    I was talking to someone about the situation recently and she made a good point: Not wanting to confront Dov for fear of harming the company is like not wanting to press charges against someone who’s been sexually abusing a family member – for fear of tearing the family apart. But unfortunately, the family has already been torn apart, destroyed BY THE AB– USER.

    I understand the reluctance to face the fact that Dov Charney is a bullshitter. I spent quite a bit of money at AA (before all of this came out) thinking that I was contributing to something truly great and now I feel like a schmuck. Turns out that the people he pretends to care so much about are nothing more than photo ops for a highly manipulative branding campaign. Oh wait – I forgot: AA is “brand free.”

    Dov Charney has made millions “Fucking the brands that fuck the people” at his “sweatshop free”, “vertically integrated” factory in “downtown LA.” Every single one of his slogans is born from the notion that AA provides a safe, fair, enjoyable place to work and is therefore, a safe, fair and enjoyable place to shop. However, Dov apparently picks and choses who he treats fairly and who he tosses out onto the street.

    When I talk to people now, attitudes have changed. Both my male and female friends feel disgusted, duped – and many of them are shopping elsewhere. I also know that there are quite a few disgusted ex-employees who might get organized enough to stir some shit up. (When women come together it can be scary).

    I’d like to say something to the folks out there who are giving Dov “the benefit of the doubt”: “Hey, he could be the victim right?” “I mean, he’s such a great guy, those girls who are suing him just want his money.”

    The man has an undeniable preoccupation with sex. That’s no secret. In every interview I’ve ever read Dov openly “endorses” sexual relationships between himself and his employees. A quote from the man himself: “Is it illegal to ask someone to masturbate, or to say to an employee, ‘Hey do you want to go to a hotel or motel and let’s – – – -?” Yeah man, it is.

    Why is it so difficult to believe that this man made work a miserable place for MANY women? And I’m not talking about “prudes.” I’m talking about talented, independent, beautiful women who had to deal with a sleazeball breathing down their necks while they tried to get shit done. I’m talking about women who simply weren’t interested in sleeping with Dov. What do you think happens employees who turn down his sexual advances? Ex-employees?

    And that whole “if you don’t like it, don’t work here” attitude: What about all of the unfortunate women who signed on to work for AA before everyone realized that Dov was a pathological sex addict? Christ.

    I’ll ask the skeptics this: Do you think that Dov cares how his reckless behavior affects the individuals who work at his factory? Does it seem like he’s concerned that lawsuits and boycotts caused by his harassment could end up affecting THEIR jobs? 

    FUCK THE BRAND THAT’S FUCKING THE PEOPLE (YOU).

    -Ex Customer

    p.s. If any of this has already been said I apologize. I read most of the previous posts but not all.

  355. also ex customer

    11/4/2005 at 1:47 am

    Hey! I also have a friend who used to work at American Apparel for Dov Charney and she also had a rotten experience there and I also no longer shop there either! I mean really! The guy is on record saying that, brace yourselves, he likes sex! And then there’s those sexual harassment suits where the plaintiffs allege a sexually hostile work environment. Not that they were hit on, and then after rejecting the CEO their Jobs were affected. No, that the sexual environment was hostile. I mean, given how bad he seems you’d think there would be tons of lawsuits by all kinds of different people, not just three lawsuits by three people who all know each other and worked together, all of whom left the company before bringing their allegations to light. So based on your story that is really scant on details, what you’re saying is that I should discount what my friends who work there tell me – that AA is indeed progressive, where most of the senior management positions are held by women, that Dov Charney is an unusual boss but definitely not a sex crazed maniac as depicted by the plaintiffs and opportunistic bloggers and annonymous commenters.

    I love the clothes sold at American Apparel. I love the fact that they are not made in a sweat shop overseas. Despite being close to people who work for the company, I have no indication that any of the allegations are true. I hate the implication that all my girlfriends who work there are brain dead sex slaves. Really, given all the bullshit out there, I have no problem giving Dov and American Apparel the benefit of the doubt. They are fighting the lawsuits. I have no problem waiting for a court decision before I work hard to tank an entire company.

  356. Ex Customer

    11/4/2005 at 10:57 am

    Yes, my post was inspired, in part, by my friend’s experience. No, my point does not depend on whether or not her story is even true. I’ve read DOV’S OWN WORDS concerning the issue of sexual harassment and have put 2 and 2 together on my own, regardless of any hearsay. So my story being “scant on details” shouldn’t really matter, should it?

    I will say that you’ve made a valid point. There’s nothing wrong with “waiting for a court decision” before taking action against Dov. However I’m curious, what are you going to do if he IS found guilty?

    I may not have had the time or the desire to read every entry of this blog but the pro-Dov points you’ve made appear in about half of the 200 I did read:

    – Hey, so the guy likes sex! (No shit.)
    – “Not just three” women would be suing him if it was really that bad! (being sued by 3 women is kind of, A LOT!)
    – The women who are suing him all know each other and worked together. (I know. Does this negate the possibility that they were harassed?)
    – All of the women who are suing him left the company before bringing their allegations to light. (Can you imagine working at a company WHILE suing the owner?! So what you’re saying is that these women should have remained at a job that made them miserable?)
    – Your story is really scant on details! (I didn’t even tell the story. I don’t need to.)
    – Most of the senior management positions are held by women. (“Dov apparently picks and choses who he treats fairly and who he tosses out onto the street.”)
    – Calling me out for being an “annonymous commenter.” (I told you who I am, an Ex-customer)
    – AA is indeed progressive. (I think it’s safe to say, not entirely.)

    So cool, give the guy the benefit of the doubt until after the trial. Nothing wrong with that. You should have just stopped there, I’d read the rest already.

    Ex-customer

    p.s. The company had been “tanked” already, but not by me.

  357. Becca

    11/7/2005 at 11:20 pm

    Amazing…you guys are so consistent. Anyone that has anything negative to say about Dov is met with an immediate rebuttal. Is that you ck masquerading as ex customer? Sure sounds like you. Dov’s supporters are really not interested in the truth. Dov is an asshole, everyone knows it and those of you that support him are assholes too.

  358. no one

    11/8/2005 at 10:48 pm

  359. Becca

    11/9/2005 at 12:12 pm

    So what…he had a good lawyer just like OJ. Sexual harassment charges are very difficult to prove that’s why most of them never make it to court.

  360. Ex Customer

    11/9/2005 at 12:57 pm

    Just in case any of you were wondering why the “Judge Dismisses Sexual Harassment Lawsuit against American Apparel” “article” posted on Business Wire reads like an ad for the company.

    Business Wire disseminates full-text news announcements from thousands of companies and organizations worldwide (our members) to news media, financial markets, disclosure systems, investors, information web sites, databases and other audiences…

    Business Wire’s worldwide team of experts has built the most comprehensive news network ever assembled. With access to more than 60 leading news agencies throughout the world in addition to our proprietary network technology, Business Wire ensures that news is delivered to audiences in each market via their preferred manner and in their preferred language.
    Our members direct where they want their news disseminated, specifying the geographic markets, industry audiences and editorial desks most appropriate for the announcements.

    Our network delivers news simultaneously and in real-time directly into the newsroom editorial systems at newspapers, wire services, television and radio programs, magazines and online news services. Journalists rely on the Business Wire file as they plan their news coverage. In addition, full-text news is placed into the news systems of leading Internet portals, financial and research databases, news and information sites, and content syndicates.

    NOTE: “This ruling marks the end of ONE of THREE sexual harassment lawsuits brought against American Apparel.”

  361. ck

    11/9/2005 at 4:15 pm

    Nice Becca and Ex Customer. The fact remains – the case was thrown out of court. That’s pretty bad – it means that the case had no merit to begin with at all. But whatever. I mean, yes, this is but one of three suits, but you’ve made it clear that short of Jesus Christ himself coming down and declaring Dov Charney innocent, you’ll always find fault with the guy. That’s telling and might demonstrate a bit of intellectual dishonesty.

  362. speaketh da trutheth

    11/9/2005 at 4:32 pm

    To be completly honest about his products, American Apparel clothing really sucks. Their clothing is far from durable. Sexy? I guess if you like holes, rips, and snags! Every time I bought American Apparel clothes, I had to return it! Honest to goodness!

  363. tiff

    11/9/2005 at 4:57 pm

    speaketh da trutheth, you are completely wrong! I couldn’t care less about dov charney but don’t diss the clothing! Holes, rips and snags? What the hell kinda wear do you put your shit through? “Uhh like I wore this tshirt everyday for a month, like while I was climbing mountains and uhhh vigorously rubbing myself against this guy daily… Why is it it snagged?” Seriously, I’m still wearing and getting complemented on stuff that I bought there a couple of years ago…no snags, no holes, none of those linty balls cotton sometimes develops…just stylingly simple, reasonably priced quality clothing…and that’s the truth.

  364. Ex Customer

    11/9/2005 at 5:47 pm

    Actually, “The plaintiff elected to permanently dismiss her case without receiving any compensation. Presiding Judge Der-Yeghiyan agreed, ruled that dismissing the case was proper and entered an order which provides that American Apparel pay nothing to the plaintiff.”

    Looks like the plaintiff dropped her case. I’d point out that she could have backed out for any number of reasons, but that would be stating the obvious.

    You’re right, I’ve made my decision about American Apparel and where I buy my clothes. I made that decision after researching the facts and drawing my own conclusions. I encourage all customers to do the same.

    Could you elaborate on the term “intelectual dishonesty”?

    tiff–I love the idea of telling someone that they’re “wrong” about the fact that their clothes fell apart. Two of the tops that I purchased at American Apparel developed holes within less than 6 months.

  365. tiff

    11/10/2005 at 1:49 pm

    Ex customer I think you misunderstood me. I was simply suggesting that the reason the clothing fell apart was because of rough wear, not shabby quality. Personally, I have had such positive experience with AA clothing that the only way I can fathom holes, rips and snags developing is by running the stuff through the ground. And if that’s the case, it’s just not fair to complain about a bad product…

  366. Dez Williams

    11/29/2005 at 8:32 am

    Another writer:
    Are there any current or past employees of AA that could tell me more about the obligatory ’employment waiver’ that needs to be signed in order to stay onboard at AA.

    It was mentioned to me while interviewing past AA employees.

    I am working on an article for publication.

    Feel free to e-mail me rants or raves also.

    Thanks Jewlicious!
    – dez

  367. happy at AA

    11/29/2005 at 9:31 am

    The waiver makes it a condition of employment that should any legal matter arise as a result of one’s employment at AA and it can’t be settled amicably, the employee agrees to take the issue to arbitration. For its part, the company agrees to pay for all costs associated with the arbitration and, of course, to respect the outcome. I signed it as it came wth a bonus and I LOVE MY JOB!

  368. Dez Williams

    12/1/2005 at 10:39 am

    Thanks ‘happy’, but somehow the ex-employees made it seem like something way more sinister.

    – dez

  369. Ms. Iah

    12/2/2005 at 5:41 pm

    Has it ever occurred to any of you that there’s no such thing as bad publicity? That knowing the dirt on some company and still liking its products appeals to that perverse but delectable allure of our taboo intuition?

  370. N. Feinstein

    12/2/2005 at 10:13 pm

    nice call to re-post about charney, knowing it will bump your site up on the google list.

    sweet.

  371. Pieter Bas

    2/14/2006 at 9:14 pm

    Nice site. Hope yoy visit http://buy-trimspa-where.gottaoh.com soon. You are welcom!!!

  372. erik seidenglanz

    4/14/2006 at 6:22 am

    DOV CHARNEY giving away trade secrets, and discrimination practices. no band kids, no studies no anything… a megolemaniac

  373. Pingback: Gloria Weblog » Blog Archive » Vitals

  374. Pingback: Lying Media Bastards » Dirty Laundry

  375. bernard@knowmore.org

    8/27/2006 at 11:01 pm

    La Compania Rebelde: Understanding American Apparel

    After nearly 6 months of work and hundreds of hours of interviews and research, Knowmore.org is releasing its special report on American Apparel, LLC.

    American Apparel is the largest garment manufacturer in the United States, and as of this writing employs roughly 4,500 workers out of a single factory in downtown Los Angeles. Its growth in the past five years has been astonishing; from 2002 to 2004, the company repeatedly doubled its annual sales figures, and has opened 130 retail stores worldwide in the past three years.

    The company, which prides itself on its socially responsible practices, has had its ethics called into question by critics who accuse the company of union busting, harmful advertising, creating a hostile work environment, sexual harassment, and managerial misconduct towards workers.

    When Knowmore’s American Apparel entry came to the attention of CEO Dov Charney, he called to challenge our representation of his company, and demanded we take a closer look. He also offered us unprecedented access to his factory, workers, and management, which we accepted and engaged.

    The result is this report; which represents the most complete Knowmore.org entry to date, and the most comprehensive look at Charney’s controversial company ever published.

  376. themiddle

    8/27/2006 at 11:52 pm

    Bernard, I have no affiliation with American Apparel nor do their products interest me. Some of my friends here do care about AA, however, so that might have caused me to read your report all the way through. It’s a fascinating and detailed report, and as I was reading it, I was continually surprised and impressed with AA. I was surprised by their openness with workers, by the salaries and benefits, by the foresight to open a dental clinic and consideration of opening a school, by the assistance given with immigration matters, and by the generally benevolent approach to dealing with workers. You mention and quote at length from a letter by an angry employee and then report that she and Charney remain friends. So she wrote a critical letter that received public attention and humiliated the company and he resolved the matter by becoming friendly?! That seems like a fairly progressive and positive stance, doesn’t it?

    I was surprised, however, to see your negative rating. I understand a neutral rating or why you would hesitate to give a positive rating since not everything is perfect there. But negative? This is the garment business! This is a sweatshop business and has always been one. In fact, it is so brutal, cutthroat-competitive and price-conscious that most manufacturers no longer manufacture in the US but move to countries where wages are insanely low and the workers have horrible work conditions. Not only does AA continue to employ thousands in the US, but they pay them well, help them with personal issues, attempt to be benefactors to their needs, and seek innovative ways to care for their workers. My source for this information is YOUR REPORT! I am dumbfounded that you consider this to deserve a “negative” rating. I have no idea what your standards are, but I don’t think they are too realistic considering the nature of this business. Charney could run AA in a very different way and should be praised for refraining from doing so. The fact that he openly invited you, as he seems to invite others, to see his operation and openly speak to his workers speaks volumes. Again, I fail to understand the “negative” rating. Can you elaborate?

  377. WaltDe

    8/31/2006 at 10:21 pm

    Very good reading. Peace until next time.
    WaltDe

  378. Pingback: Jewlicious » Boycott Zionist Apparel! And another Jewlicious Prank!

  379. Pingback: BOX: Les Petites Mortes » Blog Archive » Death to Jane

  380. Pingback: Jewlicious » Blog Archive » I Could Never be Here Without… American Apparel

  381. Pingback: pierreyann.org » 05-12-2007

  382. Pingback: American Apparel Sports a Woody: Madness is the Method « Cool Rules Pronto

  383. Pingback: – Encouraged or Discouraged? « Once there was a girl…

  384. jona

    4/15/2008 at 12:20 am

    AA clothing is cheap in every sense of the word. shit falls apart pronto!

  385. Pingback: dov charney how he started

  386. Pingback: Why should you boycot American Apparel? « Boycott American Apparel

  387. Rob G

    12/12/2008 at 1:24 pm

    Wealth and hubris can make you eccentric; sometimes it can also make you a sexual predator. I hope the EEOC investigates this guy and his relationships with employees. He may have be a great manager but the potential abuse of his power and position violate some basic laws of civil rights and sexual harassment. He should use better judgment and separate his social/sexual needs from his workplace behavior.

  388. Pingback: Literago » American Apparel Hates Literature

  389. kosher travel

    1/20/2010 at 10:03 am

    Has it ever occurred to any of you that there’s no such thing as bad publicity? That knowing the dirt on some company and still liking its products appeals to that perverse but delectable allure of our taboo intuition?

  390. Pingback: A Guide to Who's Screwing Who in American Apparel's "F--- the People" Ad | BNET Advertising Blog | BNET

  391. Pingback: Northern Gateway Pipeline hearings: Old and tired? ‘Hijack’. New hotness? ‘Mob’! | Five Feet of Fury

  392. Aline

    7/4/2013 at 10:51 pm

    Hi there, just was alert to your weblog thru Google, and located that it’s truly informative. I am going to

    watch out for brussels. I’ll be grateful in

    case you continue this in future. Lots of other people can be benefited from your writing. Cheers!

  393. James

    7/25/2013 at 6:50 am

    Wooow, Sounds good! I can jerk off in front of employees all I want as long as I pay them well.

    • ck

      7/25/2013 at 8:51 am

      Yeah. Because that’s what he did… right-o.

  394. Jonathan

    10/30/2018 at 9:43 am

    Have you ever thought about creating an ebook or guest authoring on other sites?
    I have a blog centered on the same topics you discuss and would love to have you shae some stories/information. I
    know myy audience would enjoy your work. If you’re even remotely interested, feel free to send me an e-mail.

  395. https://barogdj.dk/dj-lyd-lys/

    2/27/2019 at 11:30 am

    If you wajt to improve your knowledge just keep visiting this website and be updated
    wit the most up-to-date gossip posted here.

  396. Gianna Enomoto

    2/28/2019 at 2:50 am

    Having read this I thought it was extremely enlightening. Iappreciate you finding the time and energy to put this short article together.I once again find myself spending a lot of time both readingand leaving comments. But so what, it was still worthwhile!

  397. Eloisa

    3/1/2019 at 7:14 pm

    Dag How your grandma athot

  398. annmarieul11

    3/2/2019 at 12:09 am

    Enjoy daily galleries
    http://boyporn.bestsexyblog.com/?rachel

    free porn picutres and videos porn star escorts nevada xmaster porn videos hot nakid girls porn gt porn

  399. Quincyhak

    3/3/2019 at 9:06 am

    hOur company provides a wide variety of non prescription drugs. Look at our health portal in case you want to to feel healthier with a help health products. http://f3f.buyprednisolonenow.com/es/venta-prednisolone-outcome-508.html Our company offers herb-based health products. Look at our health contributing portal in case you want to improve your health. http://4i.buyprednisolonenow.com/nl/koop-prednisolone-budapest-37079.html Our company provides a wide variety of non prescription drugs. Visit our health site in case you want to to improve your health with a help of health products. http://5j.buyprednisolonenow.com/da/ordre-prednisolone-brain-30081.html Our company provides a wide variety of non prescription products. Look at our health website in case you want to feel better with a help health products. http://i1.buyprednisolonenow.com/fr/prednisolone-sans-ordonnance-koffi-86101.html Our company offers supreme quality supplements. Look at our health contributing portal in case you want to feel healthier. http://4i.buyprednisolonenow.com/nl/prednisolone-female-online-95245.html Our company provides a wide variety of non prescription drugs. Visit our health website in case you want to to improve your health with a help of health products. http://3s.buyprednisolonenow.com/en/purchase-prednisolone-korea-7098.html
    Our company provides a wide variety of healthcare products. Visit our health contributing site in case you want to look better. http://5p.buyprednisolonenow.com/es/venta-prednisolone-birthday-22527.html Our company provides a wide variety of non prescription drugs. Look at our health portal in case you want to to improve your health with a help general health products. http://d7.buyprednisolonenow.com/sv/prednisolone-utan-recept-aspergessoep-1109.html Our company offers a wide variety of non prescription products. Visit our health site in case you want to look better with a help health products. http://74im.buyprednisolonenow.com/es/vendo-prednisolone-other-medications-27789.html Our company offers a wide variety of non prescription drugs. Visit our health site in case you want to look better with a help general health products. http://a3.buyprednisolonenow.com/sv/prednisolone-utan-recept-orloff-52799.html Our company offers herb-based health products. Visit our health contributing site in case you want to strengthen your health.

  400. marshallzl4

    3/4/2019 at 1:44 am

    Big Ass Photos – Free Huge Butt Porn, Big Booty Pics
    http://indianlesbian.instasexyblog.com/?olivia

    subscribe porn newsletter porn peeking through windowws free to view amature anal porn free pony slave girls porn wang porn

  401. millarleon

    10/17/2019 at 9:29 am

    Hi guys, it’s Leona Millar here!
    I work as an academic writer and have created this content with the intent of changing your life for the better. I started honing my writing abilities in high school. I learned that my fellow students needed writing help—and they were willing to pay for it. The money was enough to help pay my tuition for my remaining semesters of college.
    Ever since high school, I have continued to work as a professional writer. I was hired by a writing service based in the United Kingdom. Since then, the dissertations that I have created have been sold around Europe and the United States.
    In my line of work, I have become accustomed to hearing, “Leona, can you help me meet my writing assignment deadline?” I know that I can save their time.

    Academic Writer – Leona – Academyofsaintcecilia Band

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *