Blog: American Apparel finds itself in hot water... Again.

Petah Marian | 5 December 2012

American Apparel has found itself in hot water on two fronts as the company reportedly faces a lawsuit which accuses CEO Dov Charney of being physically and verbally abusive and it was censured by the Advertising Standards Authority over its racy ads.

An ASA ruling found three images displaying hosiery on the retailer's website must not be displayed as it considered them inappropriate in a hosiery ad that could be viewed by children.

However, this is possibly the least of the worst of the racy retailer's woes. Michael Bumblis is reportedly suing the retailer, accusing Charney of being verbally and physically abusive to the point of rubbing dirt in his face.

Bumblis is alleging assault, battery, intentional infliction of emotional distress, violation of civil rights, discrimination and harassment based on sexual orientation and religious affiliation and wrongful termination.

According to ABCNews, Bumblis said one of Charney's earliest encounters with Bumblis was when Charney greeted him and an unnamed woman at a Las Vegas convention in February.

In April, Bumblis claims Charney called him and "launched into an expletive ridden diatribe," asking if he was "banging that girl you were with in Vegas" and berated him for having "negative same store sales."

Bumblis claims Charney said, "You should have been f***ing fired months ago," and called him slurs related to being Jewish and gay, though Bumblis says he is neither.

According to the report, during an argument about the store's new inventory system, Bumblis said Charney dove at him and grabbed his throat and began to forcibly squeeze his throat in an attempt to choke him.

During that same visit, Charney noticed dirt in a narrow space between a fitting room wall and the store wall and called to Bumblis and said: "Come here! Look how disgusting you are."

"Rub it on your face," the suit claims Charney said, he then "proceeded to scoop up the dirt and forcibly attempt to rub the dirt on plaintiff's face," the suit states.
The Los Angeles based firm is no stranger to controversy. Not only has Charney already faced several sexual harassment suits, but the retailer has also faced continued outcries over its racy advertising, and was forced to dismiss thousands of illegal workers.

The retailer has also been posting continued losses, lowering its full-year earnings outlook as it booked a US$19m net loss over the third quarter.



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