Under the guise of being "American" and "Sweatshop Free", the company American Apparel over the years has used any racy trick it can to get into the public spotlight. Now I am more than willing to shed a little light on this company as well. Their latest gimmick is to have nearly a third of it's workforce in LA, 1,800 workers, found by the feds to have supplied suspect or invalid records for working in the United States. Another 200 employees had "discrepancies" in their working papers. In other words, American Apparel hires illegal aliens.
This should come as no surprise to those who have followed this company over the years. CEO Dov Charney has played fast and loose with his position, often sleeping with employees and in general being a pervert, dropping his drawers in front of female employees. In a deposition he said "I frequently drop my pants to show people my new product". He has also said that he is a champion of "worker's rights". Which worker's rights is he talking about however?
How many of these people are paid marketers? Maybe just a free t-shirt?
Charney is behind a marketing campaign - along with Los Angeles Mayor Villaraigosa - called "Legalize LA". The company website proudly displays "At American Apparel, we've always felt strongly about the subject of immigration. Even as early as 2003, we were running ads and putting up billboards calling for reform." They also have pictures on their website of Mayor Villaraigosa visiting their factory floors. Charney has marched in May Day protests with illegal aliens and their supporters and given speeches at these events. He gave his employees the day off to attend the events.
Overall his events in May 2008 and 2009 were a flop as were all of the May Day marches for illegals since the massive uprising in 2006 that turned most of America even more against illegal immigration than they already had been when they saw foreign flags flown and the American flag stomped on and burned.
Dov Charney addresses illegal alien supporters in May 2009
In the Wikipedia entry for "Legalize LA" they state in regards to American Apparel's support for illegal aliens "Choosing to advertise social causes not directly related to the fashion company's product has drawn comparisons to campaigns done by advertisers like United Colors of Benetton and Nike". However, their stance on illegal immigration is directly related to their company's product. Because they hire illegal aliens. The entry also states that proceeds from sales of the shirts are distributed to pro-illegal alien groups.
Charney often uses employees in his advertising campaigns and takes the pictures himself. He does so in outright sexual poses that harken back to 70's porn. I have nothing against porn, but you have to ask yourself a simple question: Is hiring illegal aliens females, then stripping them down and taking "porn"ish looking pictures of them for your ads before sending them back to the sewing line what one would consider a "good American working environment" worthy of extolling the virtues of?
An American Apparel "Ad"
And now we know why he is so Gung Ho about having illegal aliens become legal residents, because he hires them by the thousands to work in his factories. And based on his own statements in a Businessweek article
a few years back, he hits on females he hires seeing nothing wrong with it. The Legalize LA campaign has nothing to do with immigration. It has everything to do with exploiting people for his business, his sexual appetite and for selling t-shirts by exploiting the protesters into wearing his clothes in a mass advertising campaign.
His marketing gimmicks don't stop at just illegal aliens though. He has now broadened into exploiting other people rallying at pro-gay parades with his "Legalize Gay" campaign. These "useful idiots" are more than willing to push American Apparel products because the company puts out an ad. Anyone who thinks there is an actual moral statement coming from Charney on any of these campaigns only need know that Charney has described himself as a "Hustler".
Several years back Charney was hit with sexual harassment lawsuits by former female employees. They claimed Charney shocked and disgusted them with dirty talk and gestures and in general made their working environment hostile. In his videotaped deposition by Keith Fink, attorney for plaintiff Mary Nelson, Charney said he often used the term "slut" in an endearing manner in the workplace. From Dateline NBC
Keith Fink (deposition): Did you ever, at work, refer to women as “sluts”?
Dov Charney: In private conversations, where such language was generally welcome.
Fink: Do you view "slut" to be a derogatory term?
Charney: You know, there are some of us that love sluts. You know, it’s not necessarily—it could be also be an endearing term.
Fink: An endearing term. Is that something you call your mother?
Charney: No. But it’s maybe something that you call your lover.
Charney: During the period when she worked, did I use the word c***?
Fink: In the workplace?
Charney: Absolutely, as she did.
Fink: I didn’t ask you if she did.
Charney: I’m telling you a little more. I’m volunteering a little more ha ha [sticks out tongue].
Seven other former employee's said that Charney was constantly obsessed with sex and looking for sex from his employees. Those who support Charney claim it is just because he is eccentric. Charney claims it is because he is a creative artist running a company that is more open sexually.
Are these the stances of a man who is solely concerned with the well-being of employees, illegal aliens and gays? Or is it all a marketing ploy to make money? I'll let you make the call on that one, but I have made my mind up.
In the Reuter's article on the suspected illegal aliens working at American Apparel, all that the company had to respond with is that the loss of the 1,800 workers wouldn't hurt their bottom line. Probably because they can just find another 1,800 illegals to replace those. They also claim that they had no knowledge that the workers were illegal. I find that hard to believe with their track record of openly supporting illegal aliens.
"The company believes that its current surplus levels of inventory and manufacturing capacity would mitigate the adverse impact of any disruption to its manufacturing activities that may potentially result from the loss of these employees," American Apparel said
So what is Immigration and Customs Enforcement going to do about American Apparel? Apparently nothing right now as the company also made this statement.
"ICE's notification provided no indication that the company knowingly or intentionally hired unauthorized aliens and no criminal charges have been filed against the Company or any current employees,"
Dov Charney's House Sculpture
Shows His True View Of LA - Animal Blog
Un-American Apparel is what I call them and they are everything that is wrong with this country when it comes to exploiting illegal aliens and making money off the backs of them. I consider them an unscrupulous business. I personally find their ads distasteful because they are displayed in inappropriate areas. I'm no prude, but there is a time and place for sex. The fact they use employees for them and then have them pose spread eagle for the boss' camera is just tacky and speaks to his character and motives.
I have no faith that ICE will be doing a damn thing about American Apparel though. They are just one of the many businesses in this country that openly flaunts immigration law. What is most disgusting about American Apparel though is that they march through the streets in support of illegal aliens, all the while trying to play the humanitarian card while they are exploiting them.
Video of Charney addressing illegal alien supporters below.
Dov Charney addresses illegal alien supporters in May 2009
Tipped by: Reader Lone Wolf