Despite trying to market themselves as a hip, sweatshop-free haven for social justice, it’s really a union-busting org with skeevy advertising practices and an unapologetically sexually harrassing CEO, with a habit of trying to intimidate media sources critical of the company. Clamor Magazine is their newest target; they’ve run a series of accurate stories (and a parody), and AA is threatening to sue.
From the Clamor Magazine press release (note the irony of the single inaccuracy that they had to fix):
Cynthia Semon, Media Relations Director at American Apparel, sent an email to Clamor Politics co-editor (and editor of the American Apparel section) Mariana Ruiz and Clamor co-founder Jen Angel, citing inaccuracies and accusing Clamor of shoddy and amateur journalism. Ms. Semon demanded, â€œif the article is not immediately removed online, along with a retraction and an [sic] public apology posted online and published appropriately, we will be forced to seek legal action in light of such gross, blatant, negligent and irresponsible journalism.â€
â€œWe have issued a correction of unintended factual inaccuracies,â€ stated Angel, â€œHowever,
we have no intention of retracting the stories or the issue in which they appear. Apart from the correction we have made, we stand by those stories as they appear.â€ The correction is noted below.
â€œWeâ€™re publishing articles here that are critical of American Apparelâ€™s business practices and challenge the credibility of their carefully crafted â€˜progressiveâ€™ identity, and theyâ€™re not happy about that,â€ said Clamor co-founder Jason Kucsma. â€œThat a social justice magazine with a yearly operating budget of less than $150 thousand is being issued an ultimatum by a company that turned $250 million in profit last year seems a little incongruous to me.
Three articles, one photo essay featuring a former American Apparel employee, and a series of parody American Apparel ads make up a 10-page section analyzing American Apparelâ€™s business model, sexual harassment claims made against founder and CEO Dov Charney, and the co-opting of progressive values to hype an otherwise less-than progressive workplace.
In this Fall 2006 issue, we incorrectly reported that Mary Nelson, a store manager at American Apparel, had withdrawn her sexual harassment suit against CEO Dov Charney. It has come to our attention that the suit by Mary Nelson, a sales manager, is still
pending, and that an unnamed store manager withdrew her suit against the company.
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