Skip to main content

Dov Charney scandal

American Apparel

I'm a little bit late to the fair with this one. But apparently there was a scandal last year involving Dov Charney, the founder and at the time the CEO of American Apparel. There were lots of allegations of misconduct against him., compiled by the chairperson of the board, Colleen Brown preparatory to firing him.

Harper's includes an excerpt from Brown's report in its Readings section  in the October issue, without further comment. So will I. This is an excerpt of the excerpt, which does nonetheless manage to give a sense of the degree to which power corrupts (or attracts the already corrupt).

"Former American Apparel employee Michael Bumbliss, 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 [Bumbliss' 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.'"

Something not mentioned by Harper's: Under ghastly Charney, American Apparel sought a reputation as a socially conscious corporation, describing itself as "sweatshop free: and indeed claiming to have the "highest earning apparel workers in the world." It could do this and maintain profit margins by virtue of a high degree of vertical integration.

Should AA have been getting past the filters of the SRI crowd, or getting stuck in the fibers somewhere?


Popular posts from this blog

Great Chain of Being

One of the points that Lovejoy makes in the book of that title I mentioned last week is the importance, in the Neo-Platonist conceptions and in the later development of the "chain of being" metaphor, of what he calls the principle of plenitude. This is the underlying notion that everything that can exist must exist, that creation would not be possible at all were it to leave gaps.

The value of this idea for a certain type of theodicy is clear enough.

This caused theological difficulties when these ideas were absorbed into Christianity.  I'll quote a bit of what Lovejoy has to say about those difficulties:

"For that conception, when taken over into Christianity, had to be accommodated to very different principles, drawn from other sources, which forbade its literal interpretation; to carry it through to what seemed to be its necessary implications was to be sure of falling into one theological pitfall or another."

The big pitfalls were: determinism on the on…

A Story About Coleridge

This is a quote from a memoir by Dorothy Wordsworth, reflecting on a trip she took with two famous poets, her brother, William Wordsworth, and their similarly gifted companion, Samuel Taylor Coleridge.

We sat upon a bench, placed for the sake of one of these views, whence we looked down upon the waterfall, and over the open country ... A lady and gentleman, more expeditious tourists than ourselves, came to the spot; they left us at the seat, and we found them again at another station above the Falls. Coleridge, who is always good-natured enough to enter into conversation with anybody whom he meets in his way, began to talk with the gentleman, who observed that it was a majestic waterfall. Coleridge was delighted with the accuracy of the epithet, particularly as he had been settling in his own mind the precise meaning of the words grand, majestic, sublime, etc., and had discussed the subject with William at some length the day before. “Yes, sir,” says Coleridge, “it is a majestic wate…