Former American Apparel CEO still wants to sleep with his employees

Old habits die hard, be they peddling solid-colored, ’70s-inspired pleated skirts to the masses or fucking your employees. For former American Apparel CEO and “Los Angeles Apparel” founder Dov Charney, both these activities have no end in sight.

Charney was ousted from the hipster couture retailer in 2014 for, to put it lightly, rumored “inappropriate behavior” with employees. This behavior led to a suit from one woman who said Charney sexually assaulted her during what she thought was a hiring interview at his home, and another suit from an employee who alleged Charney held her captive as a “sex slave” when she was a teen.

But at Charney’s new company, Los Angeles Apparel, it would appear that sexual relationships between superior and employee aren’t just welcomed, but, in Charney’s literal words, “unavoidable,” according to a new profile in the Guardian:

“Look, let’s say this first: I abhor all forms of sexual harassment, period. But it’s unrealistic for the government to interfere with people’s private lives, and that’s it,” says.

I ask if he’s still sleeping with employees. “That’s private!” he retorts.

Charney talks about his firing with obsessive fury, raging about how his business was “stolen from” him. But does he regret the behaviour that led to his sacking? “Not at all! Sleeping with people you work with is UNAVOIDABLE!”

But “employees” are not people you work with – that’s colleagues. An employee is someone who works for you, I say. “Yeah, but that’s – OK, I’ll say this, I never had a romantic relationship with a factory worker. Ever! It wouldn’t be possible! But a creative equal? Yeah! And if anything, I’ll tell you, I don’t know who was the predator – you know what I’m saying?” he laughs.

“Take yourself,” he continues. “You’re well-spoken, well-educated, you decide to work here. And we develop a romantic interest in each other. We could say, ‘OK, we’re attracted to each other, but it’s better we just work together.’ OK, we could try that. And that may work. But if the attraction is so intense, eventually we’re gonna give up! We’ve tried to avoid it, but we’ve decided that we’re going to get involved.”

This all the more justifies the fact that Charney still has his interns try on clothing in front of him:

“So take Jasmine –”

Jasmine the intern?

“Yeah, she wore this underwear in front of me,” he says. “It’s not incendiary, it’s not inflammatory, it’s totally normal.”

And that even his former co-chairman of American Apparel’s board acknowledges that consent is difficult to arbitrate when such a power dynamic exists between a CEO and a teen working in retail:

“I’ve known Dov since 2004 and I know he honestly doesn’t believe he sexually harassed anyone,” says Mayer. “But when a 45-year-old CEO is sleeping with 19-year-old sales clerks it doesn’t make it consensual. The imbalance is so vast.”

Oh, and that he and President Donald Trump seem to have more in common than anticipated:

“That stuff said to Billy Bush – who cares? If you recorded all the things I said about women in the past 10 days it would be no different.”

But no matter the problems American Apparel’s board had with Charney, he’s not going to be victim to “sex-shame tactics,” as he puts it. He wasn’t shamed back in 2014, as evidenced by his filing multiple lawsuits against American Apparel after his firing, and he certainly won’t be today.

“This obsession that I should be punished for the advertising is fascistic and anti-woman. I will express myself as I always have done,” Charney said.

Fascistic and anti-woman, indeed, said the older white guy holding the power.

H/T the Cut

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