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?

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

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…

Hume's Cutlery

David Hume is renowned for two pieces of cutlery, the guillotine and the fork.

Hume's guillotine is the sharp cut he makes between "is" statements and "ought" statements, to make the point that the former never ground the latter.

His "fork" is the division between what later came to be called "analytic" and "synthetic" statements, with the ominous observation that any books containing statements that cannot be assigned to one or the other prong should be burnt.

Actually, I should acknowledge that there is some dispute as to how well or poorly the dichotomy Hume outlines really maps onto the analytic/synthetic dichotomy. Some writers maintain that Hume meant something quite different and has been hijacked. Personally, I've never seen the alleged difference however hard they've worked to point it out to me.

The guillotine makes for a more dramatic graphic than a mere fork, hence the bit of clip art above.

I'm curious whe…

Cancer Breakthrough

Hopeful news in recent days about an old and dear desideratum: a cure for cancer. Or at least for a cancer, and a nasty one at that.

The news comes about because investors in GlaxoSmithKline are greedy for profits, and has already inspired a bit of deregulation to boot. 

The FDA has paved the road for a speedy review of a new BCMA drug for multiple myeloma, essentially cancer of the bone marrow. This means that the US govt has removed some of the hurdles that would otherwise (by decision of the same govt) face a company trying to proceed with these trials expeditiously. 

This has been done because the Phase I clinical trial results have been very promising. The report I've seen indicates that details of these results will be shared with the world on Dec. 11 at the annual meeting of the American Society of Hematology. 

The European Medicines Agency has also given priority treatment to the drug in question. 

GSK's website identifies the drug at issue as "GSK2857916," althou…