Readings — From the October 2015 issue

Dressed Down

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From a declaration filed in June in a lawsuit against Dov Charney, the founder and former CEO of American Apparel, by Colleen Brown, who is the chairperson of the company’s board of directors. In the spring of 2014, American Apparel’s audit committee launched an investigation into allegations of misconduct against Charney; he was fired in December.

The company discovered voluminous evidence of Mr. Charney’s sexual liaisons with employees and models. He frequently engaged in sexual banter and referred to himself as “Daddy.” The company also discovered videos and photographs of Charney engaged in all manner of sexual behavior with models and employees. At least one of these encounters appears to have taken place in Charney’s office. Charney also engaged in abuse of employees. Former American Apparel employee Laura Barry alleged that Charney called her “a fucking moron” and “mimed holding a shotgun to her forehead, cocking it, and pulling the trigger.” Former American Apparel employee Michael Bumblis, who managed the Malibu retail store, alleged that Charney “dove at [him], grabbed [his] throat with both hands, and began to squeeze.” Charney “proceeded to scoop up and attempt to rub dirt on [Bumblis’s] face.” Employees at the company’s La Mirada facility lodged complaints after Charney repeatedly referred to Filipino employees as “Filipino pigs” and threatened to fire them. A female employee sent an email to Charney complaining about Charney’s conduct: “First, don’t ever, ever hit or slap me in the face again. Don’t call me a slut, whore, slave, or bitch.” A female employee sent an email stating that she was concerned about her future with the company because Charney “told [the employee] he can get a younger girl that can suck him and fuck him and pay her a lot less.” In October 2013, at the company’s La Mirada facility, Charney became enraged and threw a bottle of ibuprofen, striking an employee in the face. Charney stated, “I didn’t mean to do that, but you fucking pushed me.”

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