American Apparel CEO Dov Charney may have a history of calling female employees “sluts” and the “c” word, producing advertisements that show scantily-clad and even topless young models, and sexual harassment allegations, but the company is standing behind him.
According to the Los Angeles Times, the trendy “sweatshop free” clothing vendor is defending Charney, saying his four former employees filed a sexual harassment lawsuit against him and the business to make money.
“These allegations are preposterous,” said Frank Seddigh, an American Apparel lawyer.
Amy Siskind, president of The New Agenda, has spoken out and issued action alerts about the ways in which American Apparel has “sexualized” the women in the company’s advertisements.
“This man is a predatory scumbag,” Siskind told The Daily Caller. “He’s seeking out young girls underage, hiring them, and being sexually exploitative of them. I think they should send him to jail and throw away the key. I can’t say enough bad things about this company, the way they portray young women and sexualize them in their advertisements and their product [sic], which in and of itself is bad enough, but his personal actions [are] totally congruent with what the brand is that he’s trying to sell, which is to be sexually exploitative of young women.”
Earlier this month, Charney was faced with a $250 million lawsuit for allegedly turning former female sales clerk, Irene Morales into his sex slave. Charney reportedly asked Morales to send him sexually explicit pictures. When Morales was still 17 years old, Charney allegedly said he wanted to sleep with her as soon as she turned 18.
Morales is not the only former American Apparel worker to sue Charney. Former employees Kimbra Lo, Alyssa Ferguson, Marissa Wilson and Tesa Lubans-Dehaven filed a suit against Charney on Wednesday.
Lo claims Charney sent her “sexual text messages”, adding that he called her and said “he was masturbating on the phone while they spoke.”
Lo ignored Charney’s advances until he offered her a modeling and photography position late last year, inviting her to meet him at his residence to discuss the job.
After she arrived at his home, Charney appeared in just a towel, “violently kissed her”, and made her to perform sexual acts, the suit alleges.
American Apparel boasts providing “sweatshop free” work conditions, treating its workers well, and having the “highest earning apparel workers in the world.” The store also sells socially liberal t-shirts that that bear the words, “Legalize Gay, Repeal Prop 8 Now!” and “I only look like an illegal immigrant.” Siskind said this is not a “social statement” but a mere marketing tactic.
“That’s doing something that sells,” Siskind told TheDC. “The young generation right now is very much into legalizing gay marriage and being accepting of young gays, so that’s not, to do something that’s socially responsible, I don’t think this man has a speck of socially responsible in his DNA.”