This image does NOT give me a woody

This image does NOT give me a woody

$5 Million apparently…

Our dear froylein wrote about Woody Allen’s $10 million suit against American Apparel for using his image on billboards in Hollywood and New York without his permission. On the eve of the trial, American Apparel‘s Insurance company and Allen reached a settlement for $5 million. Which is too bad really. I was curious to find out what possible commercial value could be associated with a guy who took nude pics of and later married his girlfriend’s adopted daughter. Allen and said girlfriend, Mia Farrow, had a biological son together and Ronan Seamus Farrow had this to say about Daddy’s shenanigans:

He’s my father married to my sister. That makes me his son and his brother-in-law. That is such a moral transgression. I cannot see him. I cannot have a relationship with my father and be morally consistent… I lived with all these adopted children, so they are my family. To say Soon-Yi was not my sister is an insult to all adopted children.

American Apparel’s lawyers promised to wage a scorched earth battle against Allen. Also at issue was the company’s 1st Amendment rights to make a non-commercial statement and make “fair use” of an image that would otherwise fall under copyright protection. Dov Charney, the CEO of AA stated:

For the record, I personally think we had a good case. As one of my lawyers, Adam Levin explained, “Common sense dictates that the billboard at issue here is ‘not a simple advertisement.’ As a matter of law, no commercial transaction is proposed: no merchandise is shown or described, and no price is quoted. Instead, the billboard contains an image of an Orthodox Jew in a black top hat – none of which can be purchased at American Apparel. And the writing on the poster is not the copy of a commercial advertisement, but Yiddish words identifying Allen as “The High Rabbi.” Finally, even if the billboard is found to have the dual purpose of a commercial transaction and an expressive medium, First Amendment protection still attaches because the two elements are ‘inextricably intertwined.’ The decision of the United States Court of Appeal for the Ninth Circuit in Hoffman v. Capital Cities/ABC …makes [it] abundantly clear that the speech at issue in this case is protected by the First Amendment. Any other conclusion inevitably would chill critical social and political commentary and debate.” … The billboards were designed to inspire dialogue. They were certainly never intended to sell clothes.

American Apparel has in the past used it’s marketing clout to advocate for immigration reform and against California’s Proposition 8 which banned gay marriage in the state.

Woody Allen is a wienie, what can I say. I would have had a tiny smidgen of respect for him had he just accepted the pulling of the billboards after less than a week and an apology. But that’s not saying much really. I find it hard to have respect for anyone who done diddled where he done did. Jerk. I’m now going to make it a point to shop at the American Apparel on Rivlin street in Jerusalem in order to help offset the company’s higher insurance premiums. OK, ok. I’m also gonna buy some hot shorts for a friend who I am sure is going to look awesome in ’em. What can I say? I’m a true humanitarian!

Props to Jessica at Israel 21c for finally noticing that Jerusalem has an American Apparel! Here’s a tip though. Next time you visit the store, leave the double stroller outside – one of the staff will be happy to watch the kids while you shop for uh… hot shorts or whatever!

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About the author


Founder and Publisher of Jewlicious, David Abitbol lives in Jerusalem with his wife, newborn daughter and toddler son. Blogging as "ck" he's been blocked on twitter by the right and the left, so he's doing something right.


  • Um, I wonder how much Allen’s lawyers can get for the posting an image of him in underwear on a site called

    Nice underwear, by the way. How much do they sell for?

  • American Apparel has in the past used it’s marketing clout to advocate for immigration reform

    Oh, how wonderful.

  • Whether Woody Allen committed a crime (against G-d and humanity) or not, it does not excuse the disturbing usage of his visage to promote a clothing brand. First Amendment right? Meant to stir commentary? Please, stop this deceit.

  • Lin, what is so disturbing about that image or the poster? I can understand a complaint about unfairly using his image for commercial purposes, but there is nothing disturbing about his image. In fact, considering that he created it, it’s hard to see what he’s complaining about. What’s even more egregious about his lawsuit is that American Apparel removed the poster immediately upon being approached about it.

    Oh, and to think this was an offense worth $5 million is the most insulting part of this. He doesn’t even get paid that much to direct one of his films, right?

  • Herr Koenigsberg IS the High Rabbi.

    If this isn’t yet another jews set up, jews knock down, jews reap profits self-generating publicity scam, I don’t know what is.

    I love the fake moral outrage in the piece and commentary. Wherever jews are found, itz.

    Ronan Seamus Farrow has a good shot at being his own grandfather.