Well, we’ve received the official statement from American Apparel’s Media Relations Director, Cynthia Semon objecting to our coverage of American Apparel and its founder, Dov Charney. In it she attempts to bait us into a he-said-she-said battle. We’re going to pass on that invite.
The boss says the business isn’t anti-union. The boss also says that sexual harassment isn’t a problem in his workplace. The boss said the AA building was built in 1920s, not the 1940s.* Okay. Read the articles in our section. Then read some more articles (here on our blog and elsewhere), and decide for yourself.
Clamor is an independent media outlet that works with everyday people to tell the stories that are important to our communities. We stand by the articles in this special section because they are accurate and resonate with what a lot of people are feeling. We and many of our readers feel duped by a company that has made a lot of money appealing to our progressive ideals.
American Apparel is attempting to do to Clamor what it has done fairly successfully to independent (and corporate) media outlets — squash criticism through threats of legal action, intimidation, or discrediting of the source or the journalist. We’ve been gathering stories from blogs, radio programs, magazines, filmmakers, and TV shows big and small of just how American Apparel has worked to prevent critical stories from being published. It’s a solid model that works well to eliminate dissenting voices and create a chilling effect on future coverage. You’ll be hearing more from us on this when we finish our research. In the meantime, you might want to have a conversation with Weronika Cwir — one of AA’s Media Relations staffers whose current job description seems to have been rewritten to include “trolling the internet to talk trash about Clamor on various blogs.” Tell her we said “Hello!”
We take Semon’s letter as an indication that we have achieved our goal of accurately and passionately critiquing a fashionable sacred cow of liberal style. An apology will not be forthcoming. American Apparel is welcome to make the case to concerned consumers of its products that it can conduct its business without sexism or anti-union tactics. However, to do that will presumably take more substance than PR.
And that is precisely what has American Apparel’s 100% Baby Rib cotton briefs ($30 for a 3-pack) in a bunch.
*Jim Straub’s article actually said, “The company possesses a downtown textile factory straight out of the ’40s, a sexploitation ad campaign from the ’70s, and a marketing strategy so sophisticated it almost seems to come from the future.”