American Apparel Decides Alleged Creep CEO Is Bad for Business

Ethan Corey

American Apparel founder Dov Charney, known for his controversial ad campaigns and several sexual harassment lawsuits, has been removed from his position as CEO and chairman of the company, according to a Wednesday press release from the corporation's board of directors. Allan Mayer, the newly elected co-chairman of the board, said in the release that Charney’s termination is the result of “an ongoing investigation into alleged misconduct.” Although the release did not specify what alleged misconduct led to Charney’s ouster, there’s no shortage of fodder for speculation: In 2011, four women sued Charney for sexual harassment, alleging that Charney had coerced them into sexual relationships. Charney handled the case in a less than graceful fashion, posting nude pictures of the women on fictitious personal blogs and leaking private texts and photos to the media, which led to a second lawsuit for defamation, impersonation, invasion of privacy and intentional infliction of emotional distress by the same women. Additionally, one year later Charney was sued for wrongful termination by a store manager who claimed that Charney had physically assaulted him and called him racist and homophobic slurs. More mundane possibilities for Charney's dismissal include the company’s net loss of $106.3 million in 2013 and its recent troubles with the New York Stock Exchange that could lead to its removal from the Exchange’s stock listings, according to the Los Angeles Times. 

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Ethan Corey is a writer and researcher based in New York. His work has appeared in The Nation, Rolling Stone and MEL magazine.
Democratic Rep. Summer Lee, who at the time was a candidate for the state House, at a demonstration in Pittsburgh for Antwon Rose, who was killed by police, in 2018. Lee recently defeated her 2024 primary challenger.
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