A settlement was announced yesterday in the much publicized court case between Woody Allen and American Apparel. It was decided that American Apparel will pay the amount of $5 million to the director/actor after he sued the clothing company for the offensive and unauthorized billboard advertisements that were erected in 2007 depicting Allen as a Hasidic Jew from a scene in the movie Annie Hall.
The settlement comes following a very messy trial where Allen's notorious personal life was scrutinized and in which American Apparel's chief Dov Charney left no stone unturned in attempting to produce evidence that would lower the $10 million that Allen was originally asking for in the suit. Though Charney
succeeded to some end, he is still responsible for the $5 million as well as a now permanently scarred reputation. In an attempt to sanctify himself now that the trial is over, he published a 1,200 word article on American Apparel's website, actually trying to justify why he created the controversial billboard campaign in the first place. Under the pretense of the First Amendment, Charney claims that he did not intend for the billboards of Allen in Hasidic Jew garb to inspire people to shop at American Apparel, rather he wanted the displays to "inspire dialogue" about what was happening to him publicly at the time-which just happened to be a sexual harassment charge that was filed against him for conducting a job interview almost nude.
In his article he describes his feelings during the harassment investigation, saying "Some writers characterized me as a rapist and an abuser of women, others asserted that I was a bad jew….There are no words to express the frustration caused by these gross misperceptions." He then goes on to compare how he used the negative press from the sexual harassment charge as a vehicle to creating the billboard campaign and that he intended it to be, out of all things, a joke. He says," This billboard was an attempt to at least make a joke about (those misperceptions)". Ok let's see-so it's the general public's fault that we don't just see an unusual image of a character from a well-known movie with the Hebrew words "The highest level and extra-holy Rabbi" and immediately understand it to be a metaphor for someone's feelings on being charged as a pervert? Hm. Well, if Dov Charney claims he didn't care if people went to his stores after seeing the ad campaigns, surely he won't mind now when his smeared reputation may be cause enough for people to buy their leggings elsewhere. Guess the joke is on him.
Article Source: NYMag
Photo: Getty Images
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