Fame, Fortune And Fashion: Why Dov Charney Got Off The Hook


Why have these two men gotten away with disgusting behavior for so long?

What once seemed impossible, has finally happened: Dov Charney, the man synonymous with both the word "pervy" and his brand, American Apparel, has finally been fired. That's right. Society: 1; Charney: 0. It's always nice when we score one for the good guys; it's just too bad it’s taken this long to bring the monster down.

Charney has been at the helm his company since 1991 when he started with the production of just a few t-shirts that he hoped would be an alternative to Hanes Beefy-T. Within a decade he moved into his current Los Angeles factory and, along with his title of being founder and CEO, he had a board of directors, a board that would eventually turn against him.

So why is Charney getting the boot?

Although Allan Mayer, one of the company directors, claims the ousting of Charney was one made "amid a continuing investigation," he also pointed out that, "Dov Charney created American Apparel, but the company has grown much larger than any one individual, and we are confident that its greatest days are still ahead." What that basically means is Dov is being blamed for a company that's failing to make bank. 

As of Wednesday's closing bell, American Apparel's shares had fallen 84 percent in the past five years. If we do the math, take into consideration the almighty dollar, stack it up against Charney's "controversial" behavior, then look at the timing of his firing, what do you see?

Basically, I take back my earlier score. Society: 0; Charney: 1.

Dov Charney may be currently unemployed, but considering his wealth from his empire and the fact that he has, for years, gotten away with sexual misconduct, he still wins. He wins because, like his fellow perv Terry Richardson, society allows him to do so.

Since the mid-2000s, Charney has been knee-deep in sexual harassment allegations, all of which are still pending, were settled, or simply thrown out. Despite being a boss who strolled through his Los Angeles warehouses in his underwear, referred to himself as a "dirty guy," and used the word "sluts" in reference to women on a regular basis, because, you know, it's not a derogatory word in his book, Charney has gotten off scott free time and time again, while those women who suffered at the hands of his sexual harassment and manipulations were just lined up and swept under the rug.

In each case, Charney played the victim, claimed it was some sort of conspiracy or extortion, and other ridiculous excuses that you'd find in any episode of Law & Order. And, of course, he didn't mean any harm in any of it. It was all in good fun! Those women wanted him! Seduced him! So why not show up to work in your American Apparel underwear? Stop picking on the "dirty guy!" He's obviously just misunderstood! Eye roll.

Charney's firing comes on the heels of New York Magazine's latest cover story, "The Perverse Case of Terry Richardson," an article in which writer Benjamin Wallace ponders whether or not Richardson is a predator or an artist. While the consensus seems to be both, by many people, what's most infuriating is that the "artist" status somehow allows for Richardson's perversion. His place in the fashion world, with his abhorrent photos of his subjects against stark white backgrounds, his Chester the Molester-type glasses (just like his buddy Charney), and his ridiculous thumbs up shtick, continues to protect him from any true prosecution. It doesn't seem to matter how many women come forward with their heartbreaking stories, there is a force field, whether it's art, money, or simple notoriety, that these two men get to hide behind. KEEP READING ...

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