Earlier this week, famed T-shirt peddler American Apparel released its second quarter financial report (albeit late), which confirmed its ongoing money problems, and the company admitted bankruptcy is a very real possibility.
Oh, Dov Charney ... Will the company's controversial founder and CEO go down with the American Apparel ship? Is he actually the one driving the sinking boat? And do we even want T-shirts from this lecherous dude anyway?
It's no secret that American Apparel CEO Dov Charney is a controversial creep. He's been the subject of several sexual harassment lawsuits, paid off at least one woman to withdraw her accusations, propositioned and slept with his employees, masturbated in front of a reporter, and admittedly referred to women as "sluts" and "c*nts" in front of employees. Wonderful guy, huh?
Despite Charney's disgusting personal habits and, for more practical business reasons, the folks over at Gawker think Charney should let go of his 53 percent stake in the company already:
Dov, we know you don't listen to us, but here's a tip: you're a very successful entrepreneur who built a very successful company. And then ran that company into the ground. Also, you're PR poison. Only a lunatic would invest serious money in AA while you remain at its head. You don't really have time to wait around for that lunatic Santa Claus to appear. Turn it loose, already. You had a good run, in your own way.
Sure, Charney built American Apparel, but he may also be the one to destroy it, holding onto undervalued stock and turning away outside investors when the company really needs cash.
Personally, I don't want a T-shirt (no matter how very soft) that's been anywhere near this letch anyway. Here's a company founded on the idea of ethical treatment of its workers, reducing its ecological footprint, and using organic materials, and the guy at the top making all the dough (or lack thereof in this case, I guess) demonstrates highly questionable ethics in the workplace. All AA's artistic advertising endeavors, which have been called pedophilic, aside, this guy sounds pretty awful.
Maybe the bankruptcy of the company is just one big metaphor for the guy at the helm.
What do you think? Does hearing about a CEO's bad behavior keep you from buying his wares? Or can you separate the product from its producer?
Image via DovCharney.com