Dec 19 2006, 02:35 PM
the depressing thing is, and the reason it's so difficult to pinpoint exactly what's wrong with him, is that i really think all the "models" are really happy about it. i think the general feeling is privelege and pride, not feeling harassed.
Dec 19 2006, 04:05 PM
I used to be inclined believe that might be possible, but it has become public knowledge that Dov Chernian is being sued for sexual harassment.
You do have a point, though, mouse; in a lot of cases, sexual harassment or even "making the trade"--I keep you on staff or promote you, you have sex with me--can look and feel like privilege to an employee who isn't savvy, or perhaps is young enough to think that it may be bad for everyone else, but her case is different (when it isn't). It can also look that way to everyone else on staff. The point is, would that person have kept her job if she refused? Would she have been fairly employed even if she declined her employer's advances? Should she be subjected to worrying about it at all, as a condition for earning a paycheque?
And what recourse would one of those employees have if it turned out they did exchange sex and a happy, rollicking photo shoot for their job, yet lost the job anyway once they decided they didn't want to anymore? Who would believe they were coerced? There they are in a photo, smiling and nude except for a flimsy item of clothing, consenting to a contract allowing their photo to be taken and used for marketing purposes. You'd need one very pricey, skilled lawyer, and one very politically aware, astute, and fairminded judge.
That is all not very likely.
Dec 19 2006, 04:10 PM
yes, he was sued, but not by everyone. furthermore, he was sued and nothing changed. the lawsuits were at least a year ago. the majority of the girls who work for him who pose for him are doing so because they want to. which is why it's so hard to really figure out what the hell is wrong with it.
Dec 19 2006, 06:07 PM
Yeah, I really don't think it's a condition of keeping their jobs, of working there, or of being promoted. If it was, it would be different. It's some kind of weird 70s tiime warp "Dov" is living in. I and my friends have bought the clothes and they are a great fabric, great workmanship and have lasted a long time. I think of him as a harmless eccentric -- I mean, he said to her and she said in the article several times that she could easily have refused.
A little weird and ambigous, though, certainly.
Rappoport is a gross jerk and Natasha Lyonne should not have gotten away with abusing people just because "she's sick" no matter how much money she did or didn't have. But money buys indulgence, that's why if I speak up about abuse, I mention it.
She should not have been trashed in public, she should have been helped in private, and helped a lot sooner, I completely agree about that, and I think many people who have something "left of center" for lack of a better word, to offer are trashed while people like Lizzie Grubman or Paris Hilton or Nicole Ritchie are indulged to the point of dangerousness. I mean, driving down the wrong side of a highway? If Joe Schmoe did that he'd get ten years in the federal pen -- although equally "sick"
Dec 19 2006, 06:26 PM
it wouldn't be a stipulated condition in the contract, but i'm sure that any girl who was asked to pose and refused wouldn't have much chance at advancement in the company. i just think that the girls who do pose are thrilled to be doing it.
Dec 19 2006, 06:30 PM
eh, who knows.
It's hard to know about any of this celebrity stuff or, you know, people in the media stuff.
I kinda just deal with the people who manage to get something interesting accross and for the most part, don't really appreciate smack talk about them.
Then we get buckets of boring, shrill celebs like Britney dumped over our heads like so much chicken doo.
Seriously, the celebrity coverage is overdue for change in general.
and not worth gettin' heated with busties over.
Dec 19 2006, 06:57 PM
you don't appreciate "smack talk", wombat? you've been awfully vocal about the celebrities you dislike. you know, dov charney is really rich, white, male, and priveleged!
Dec 19 2006, 07:12 PM
Oh, come on, what kinda white guy has a name like that?
I wasn't criticizing you, mouse, I just get more annoyed than anything else with the celebrity gossip shows on tv, and don't even pick up the magazines, and, in fact, seldom come to this thread, but it's just -- inescapable.
And oddly compelling. That's why we talk about it and talk smack about the talking smack, I guess.
As for my axe-grinding against the privileged, I don't mean everybody, just the ones that are being jerks about it. Non-privileged folks are jerks too, but they don't affect as many people or get away with it for nearly as long.
But, far as I'm concerned, you and other folks I like can have millions upon billions of dollares and other elite bastions of specialness and enjoy them freely. ~*~*~*~*~
I think I'm cranky because I'm in Boston. It's reeaallllllllyyyyyyy "Upstairs Downstairs" around here. Fun to encroach upon the wonderful elite things provided, mind you.
But, back on thread -- ish - a bit --- does anyone really need a ring that costs 30,000 dollars, etc? Unless it's a lovely, museum-worthy thing that supports an artisan and not just a piece of bling.
Dec 19 2006, 07:19 PM
QUOTE(wombat @ Dec 19 2006, 05:29 PM)
Oh, come on, what kinda white guy has a name like that?
Dec 20 2006, 04:50 AM
Holy gad, Wombat, Chernov is old Montreal MONEY, already. I always knew he came from a wealthy background (after all, you can't make any money in "fashion" unless you've got the means to do so, and it's a very, very expensive business). But I had no idea he was that established.
And Rappaport is wealthy and white, too. And so is the publisher of JANE. Their money bought them the right to trash Natasha with very little repercussion.
As for the whole idea of "consent"--did you ever listen to people who repeatedly seduce minors ("child molesters") talk about how they choose their targets? They never just go in and rape a child, they find a child who is needy in some way (feels a bit insecure about him/herself, friendly and open and positive around adults, but aren't often supervised or given the attention they need, etc) and then they use that need to create trust--which they then use to seduce them. The children, in a way, are persuaded into a "consent" when they don't fully realise what they're consenting to.
Same situation for Dov: the girls get a job with a company they're led to believe is "cool", "fashion forward", and "socially conscious"...so they "consent" to whatever the job requirements are. Maybe they think it's terrific that the CEO wants to sleep with them--but can't stand it when they learn he's fucking everyone else(it's possible they could have felt like they were having a different kind of relationship with him than just the usual "boss fucking the maid"), and/or probably giving others more perks once his interest fades. When they complain about how they were used or harassed, they're told they could have always said "no". Yes, they could have said "no", but then they'd have been out of a job. And a job buys things like a roof and food, things many of them might really need: it's hard to say no to. I don't think the consent is given with a full understanding of the power dynamic involved: I don't think it's an accident that all the targets are young and pretty and very likely naive enough to pose for an ad campaign which really doesn't profit them much at all. When you're sold a line, emotionallly involved, and you don't know very much about how the world works, you can "consent" to anything.
As for the lawsuits changing nothing--that's the law's fault, and not the fault of victims who undergo that treatment at work. Here in North America we have all kinds of beautiful laws on the books, and all kinds of courts that appear to appreciate the letter and spirit of the law. But we don't have any drive or intention of actually enforcing the law. So the law is quite meaningless without that last part, since it doesn't demand any change in behaviour on the part of the perpetrator. Hell, we don't even see sexual harassment as a crime in North America. It's just a civil law suit, like a dispute between neighbours.
So they fine Dov. So he pays. Next sexual harassment lawsuit, he buys off the press so we don't hear about it (make sure you run that story about Brit Brit instead!), he buys a pricey lawyer his opponent could never afford (after all, his opponent worked for him--and he's paying better than average wages for his industry but they're still not enough to live on) and at worst he pays another fine. He buys an expensive ad campaign to ramp up his activities and increase the spin on how they're perceived, and it's literally business as usual.
Sexual harassment laws have very little teeth in North America.
Dec 20 2006, 05:21 AM
full disclosure: when i first moved to LA, i needed a job BAD, and i didn't have a car, so i applied to pretty much everywhere that was in walking distance of my apartment, which included an american apparel retail store. they folded my resume in half without looking at it and didn't bother to ask me any questions about whether or not i had retail experience, but did have me pose for a polaroid. i imagine they just shuffled through the pile at the end of the day and picked the hottest girl.
Dec 20 2006, 05:29 AM
And that just about says it all, huh?
There's no law against only hiring pretty girls, I guess. But boy, does the overt practice ever make the whole "socially conscious" bit look like BS.
Dec 20 2006, 07:09 AM
Seriously, he doesn't look "white" to me, nor is his name Rockefeller, Carnegie or Bradshaw or the like. But, of course he has money or he would not have been able to start a factory or a store.
I'm thinking of the factory workers, the seamstresses in LA and perhaps that's what he's talking about too when he talks about good wages and working conditions. In China, they use slave labor, in Los Angeles, there are illegal sweatshops with bad conditions and their windows painted black, in Boston there are Chinese-American seamstresses that make a fairly low wage and then get unemployment benefits for their yearly lay-off. I see these middle-aged women in their print dresses and aprons any time I go to the office, and half the social workers on staff are Chinese as well, so they can speak Chinese as well as English (both hard languages to learn) and get them their benefits.
It is important that the seamstesses are treated better, and I don't think they're "hot babes." There are also environmental concerns, the overseas facilities that the American ruling class are gaining record profits from obey no environmental rules, have no worker protections, and pay no taxes to the US Government.
As far as the stores, I don't really know - does he visit each store in a big circuit and demand sexual favors? If so, reprehensible. But in the Boston store, most of the employees are young indie-type males, and a couple girls, and they look, well, too left of center to be models. They're resonably attentive and otherwise free to hang out and yak and blast music.
Inasmuch as he is actually abusive sexually, he deserves certainly to be censured, but it's not cut and dried.
As you say, its not a simple thing.
Generally I call bull when I see it, but this is a case that is indeed complicated.
Dec 20 2006, 07:37 AM
He is Jewish.
Dov Charney was born and raised in Montreal, Quebec to Jewish Canadian parents, although he considers himself to be an atheist. In addition to his business exploits, Dov Charney is also a libertine, and active advocate of free speech and freedom of expression.
If that guy was my boss, and gave me a vibrator for Christmas, I would shove it up his ass.
Dec 20 2006, 08:01 AM
Not for me it isn't. It's cut and dry to me. Who cares what you pay when anyone, anywhere, in your company is subjected to sexual harassment? Maybe I'm too left of centre (yeah, I can't help it, it's in my blood) but the North American sentiment about that reality seems to disregard the incredible harm it causes, and to treat it as more of a joke than anything else.
In my mind, sexual harassment is a form of rape, pure and simple: no one should be subjected to it anywhere, just because the power dynamic is always skewed and there is simply no choice for the target, even if they are deluded in believing there could be a choice, or that they're dealing with an "equal" in that relationship. The only complicated thing about it is how current mindsets about harassment could "see" consent in the whole staff/sex pool/cheap ad campaign strategy--and overlook who really profits and who really pays there.
I don't give a damn what Dov pays the seamstresses: even if he pays them better than their peers elsewhere, then uses that fact as mitigation for the whole sex thing, he basically ends up abusing the seamstresses as his "cover", too. (He's kind of like Marx and Engels, writing the Communist Manifesto and chanting "Workers of the World, unite!!" while literally fucking their maids--uh, "workers of the world (except you gals who work for us!) unite?") Therefore, Bullshit! on the whole thing. I just don't see how this is any less exploitive and destructive than what his competitors do: it's just a different location, and a different "face". If the guy's done anything extraordinary here, it's discovering a great way to put a "spin" on it so people think it's great instead of appalling. That took genius, to some extent. Though it's nothing to be proud of.
As for his name? He's got impressive ones. Safdie (mom's side) is just as mighty as Kennedy, Bradshaw, Carnegie, and Rockefeller. You just gotta know your circles. He might not come from those WASP lineages, but he's as European as they all were/are, and I'll be damned if he didn't go to the same schools.
Dec 20 2006, 08:26 AM
not sure if this has been mentioned, but Dov's actually selling the company. I just saw it in the press yesterday. Selling it to some company that will take it public.
Say what you will about him, but he does pay his seamstresses well, has subsidized health care, and offers language classes. I hope the new owners will continue those practices.
Dec 20 2006, 09:30 AM
An even bigger hope with the new owners? That all those nice practices stop being offered "on condition" once the company's in new hands.
Dec 20 2006, 12:00 PM
the sexual harassment/questionable marketing tactics are a completely different subject than the fair business practices. the women who pose, and the women he's harassed, aren't his factory workers. they're his administrative assistants, his production managers, his advertising team, etc. and american apparel wouldn't really be anything without the fact that their workers ARE treated really well, since that's what it's ultimately built on. as far as that goes, it's a really great company. who else is doing that? i can't think of any.
i do think, though, that the harassment issue is not cut and dried. i think "naive" is too obvious a term to use to describe the girls who are posing. i think most of them are confident and empowered and have their own stuff going on.....but they don't see the ads the way we see the ads, so they're happy and proud to be pictured in them.
but to pit these two (good business practices, shitty marketing practices/attitude towards women) against each other in a sort of weird moral paradox is really mind-boggling. someone needs to write a dissertation about it, but it's not going to be me.
a photographer friend of mine made a hilarious "american appalling" calendar with a really smart manifesto...pm me if you want to see.
oh, and the buyers are keeping him on as CEO. i doubt much will change.
Dec 20 2006, 04:06 PM
Okay, just because I can't let go of an argument easily, I gotta say that we really aren't certain if the questionable practices are limited strictly to the "white collar"/pink ghetto jobs in the corporation. But it's enough they do happen there. I'm sure it's nice that he's making an effort to pay the production people better wages than their counterparts in other parts of the world, but to tout that as a camouflage for what we know is happening with the other employees? That's questionable. As for young women who work in the retail end, and their being empowered when they slip out of their clothes--great, but the fact remains: they aren't in a contract with an equal. They're in a contract where they have a lot more to lose by saying no, just by virtue of their position. You can't be empowered and aware and not know that that power inequity is at the heart of their agreement. As long as he's got the power to say, "Okay then, you're fired", it is NOT an equal arrangement no matter what anyone says.
Let's put a twist on the scenario: Walmart, as we all know, is the crowned Corporate Leader of exploitation and disempowerment tactics. They arrange for employees to earn as little as possible while they make as much profit as possible; they put small businesses and small towns out of commission for good in exchange for basically forcing people to work for as little as is legally possible in their stores once other stores/industries in their small towns close down as a result of Walmart's business practices.
But they feature their employees and their families in their advertisements, including people of colour, men and women of different sizes, appearances, and different abilities in an attempt to make members of all areas of society visible in their marketing materials. So, in a way, Walmart's making a huge visual social change by reducing the extent to which these groups are marginalized or made invisible in our visual culture. That's a big deal. Now: does that noble and virtuous effort negate the fact that they exploit as ruthlessly as they do in their other business practices?
All I'm saying is you can't trade on virtue when you're also profiting on that other kind of exploitation. It would probably make for an interesting dissertation, but I'm done with writing those myself. So I'll just choose not to do business with Dov (and with Walmart), no matter how virtuous he (and Walmart) say their companies are. Until "business as usual" changes drastically in both places--they do not get my money.
And you're damn right I wanna see the American Appalling Calendar. Any way I could actually have one to give as a gift? I'll PM you.
Dec 20 2006, 05:03 PM
Um, back to the gossip... Lara Flynn Boyle has wed. Hopefully, she ate some of the wedding cake.
Dec 20 2006, 11:15 PM
really? who did she marry?
Dec 21 2006, 01:02 AM
Some dude named Donald Ray Thomas. No real details have been released.
Dec 21 2006, 07:43 AM
Who was it that said "All women are white, all blacks are men, but some of us are strong?"
There are certainly a fair amount ot rich non-white guys, so I wouldn't have made the assumption.
In my parents' day, Jewish people going to elite schools, joining country clubs, and accumulating wealth met with a lot of resistance.
A local person here named Aaron Fuerstein (makes polar fleece) Jewish factory owner, made headlines when he did not lay off a single one of his hundreds of workers when the factory burned down. At great personal cost, he kept paying them until the factory could be rebuilt. Oddly, there was a sexual scandal lodged against him as well, from the other side: he didn't believe in having a stripper at company functions and forbade them from hiring one, so they said their free speech or religious rights or some such was being violated.
What do y'all think of Donald Trump not "firing" Miss USA? I thought it was kind of sweet of him. Then Rosie O'Donnell is yelling a bunch of stuff. I dunno, if she's missing appearance, then perhaps she needs some detox and get back on the circuit, or just, hey, get back to your obligations wake up call, but what young girl doesn't go out and have a few drinks, especially if she's trying to be popular? Sheesh. Have one drink and you're "psycho" in this culture.
Dec 21 2006, 08:14 AM
I thought it was "all the women are white, all the men are blacks, but some of us are brave"...and I don't know exactly who said it ...but it sure has made for a great book title.
There: now someone is gonna write to someone else via PM about how I'm a fucking know-it-all who writes longwinded posts and pontificates, so now can we please all stop thinking so much (cause BUST is NO PLACE for THINKING, especially if that thinking overshadows gossip!!!) and get back to talking about how important Britney's exposed vagina is this week?
Donald Trump isn't really a big humanitarian for his gesture--but it certainly is ridiculous to expect a young woman to act like a sequestered Nun until she's supposed to appear in public wearing revealing bikinis and heels, or at least some bosomy/leggy gown and tiara. Who even heard of her before she became a scandal?
Being booted away from the Miss America title was the best thing that ever happened to Vanessa Williams. She's had an opportunity to explore a singing and acting career and both have been somewhat successful. Other than Madeline Albright, I can't think of another former Miss America who actually became well known for longer than 15 minutes, an amount of time to which we are all, inevitably, due.
Dec 21 2006, 08:27 AM
i guess having drinks and going to parties does not exemplify the height of femininity that MissUSA is supposed to represent.
it was cool of rosie o. to point out that donald shouldn't be making moral decisions and in fact has the ethical makeup of a pile of trash, but she made an ass of herself doing so, casting her net too far. donald of course responded by calling her "fat." good to know you can be multi-millionaires by acting like 13-year old children. nanny-nanny poo poo.
Dec 21 2006, 08:39 AM
I don't think Donald Trump did it out of the kindness of his heart.
The headline on fark.com was "Trump comes to his senses, realizes that a coke snortin', hard drinkin', lesbian lovin' Miss USA is EXACTLY what this country needs right now"
I'm pretty sure this was a business move, since the pageant industry is dying out.
Dec 21 2006, 09:16 AM
Dying out? That's where Trump goes shopping for his wives!
Calling Rosie "Fat" was his comeback? Sheesh.
Dec 21 2006, 09:39 AM
"Lara Flynn Boyle has wed. Hopefully, she ate some of the wedding cake."
*holding sides laughing*
can't wait for the trump-&-rosie celebrity deathmatch.
Dec 21 2006, 10:06 AM
The Trumpster. It was a total PR decision. What a turd. Yeah, it was great for Rosie O'Donnell to comment on his hypocritical bullshit, but I also sorta wish that she would shut the hell up for once. She has to put her nose in everything. I suppose that's part of her job right now.
Dec 21 2006, 10:25 AM
Right, because Donald Trump is so svelte.
But, it would have been a lot MORE hypocritical of him to say, "I don't approve of this behavior and you're fired!"
And Rosie O'Donnell is just so, so annoying. That whole "outing" Clay Aiken while accusing Kelly Ripa of being a homophobe -- plus she's practically the female Sam Kinison these days.
Dec 21 2006, 10:31 AM
Apparently Donald Trump threatened to have one of his goons go and "pick up" Rosie's girlfriend...I think he meant it would be really easy for a dude to successfully hit on a lesbian because she's Rosie's girlfriend, har har har, but it reads like a creepy rape threat, actually.
Dec 21 2006, 11:29 AM
Trump was ripping on Rosie's weight and looks. Um, anyone with that HAIR and the everlasting squinty eye, has no room to judge how ANYBODY looks.
"Psst, you get laid because you are rich. Not because you are hot, or pleasant, or funny, or charming, or human. Because you are rich. That is the only reason. Seriously, Trump. You are an ugly, repugnant, rich man."
Though, I have no love for Rosie, I just thought it was funny that TRUMP was blasting on someone for their looks.
Also, your daughter looks like a pelican. She became a model because she is your daughter. That is the only reason.
Dec 21 2006, 01:31 PM
I think it's funny that he couldn't come up with anything better than "fat." Um...Rosie O'Donnell doesn't strike me as the type of person who would be insulted by that.
Dec 21 2006, 02:28 PM
you know? i can think of a few more words to describe rosie and be hateful - obnoxious, crass, smug, pretentious - but i guess those characteristics don't bother donnie. as long as a "fat" person isn't publicly denouncing him.
Dec 21 2006, 03:26 PM
Does anyone else think that Miss USA was partying so hard to supress the memory of Keith totally feeling her up on PROJECT RUNWAY? I know that moment made me need a drink.
Dec 21 2006, 05:44 PM
I had no idea that happened, and I think your theory could be true.
I also think Miss America has a whole world of excellent reasons to drink about.
Dec 21 2006, 05:47 PM
I didn't even realize that was the same woman. Thanks for pointing it out, kitten. I'd be drinking too if that guy felt me up!
Dec 21 2006, 08:05 PM
Fat is just the easiest thing to pick on. It's one of the few things people can indiscriminately begrudge and a nation (albeit a fat one at that) will nod their heads. I sort of agree with the 13 year old thing...although, my eighth grade students have better comebacks than that. Hell, even a "Your mom!" is better than Donald's comeback.
Dec 22 2006, 03:16 AM
Well, what do we expect, really? Donald Trump is famous for inheriting a lot of money, bankrupting a lot of businesses, and a troubling hairdo. He's never been known for the quickness of his mind, or the sharp turn of a phrase. He's only ever been unintentionally funny.
Rosie, on the other hand, made a living being a stand-up comedienne. There is no contest there, in terms of wit (though who would even acknowledge that "fat" comment?). But I'm sure they'll have a big to do in the media about it, then make an hour long special about how they're putting their differences aside to become "friends", and the commercial breaks will be all about The Apprentice and Trump Water and anything else he's selling.
Dec 22 2006, 07:32 AM
I gotta say, her original comments were pretty damn funny. She was being a total comedian. Her impression is great. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bZui6qeN1ZQ
Dec 22 2006, 07:54 AM
This whole thing is making me kind of like Rosie again.
Dec 22 2006, 11:57 AM
my fantasy full-page new york times ad:
We don't respect you, either.
Dec 22 2006, 12:14 PM
This cow gives a bad name to fat, ugly, smelly, stupid lesbians world wide! Comedian? Give me abreak! She's nothing more than an idiot.
Dec 22 2006, 12:17 PM
QUOTE(LAMBSHELL @ Dec 22 2006, 06:31 PM)
This cow gives a bad name to fat, ugly, smelly, stupid lesbians world wide! Comedian? Give me abreak! She's nothing more than an idiot.
Wow, it has been so long since we have had a troll around these parts!
(takes an idiot to know an idiot)
Dec 22 2006, 12:34 PM
So you admit it, she is an idiot. Now what about fat, ugly and smelly?
Dec 22 2006, 12:40 PM
Wow. What a way to make new friends & influence people. Quite an auspicious start!
I've never been wild about the Rosie, but her whole "ching chong ching" bit really rubbed me the wrong way. How does one not know that saying something like that is inappropriate & racist? I mean really? My backwoods auntie with her diminished mental faculties wouldn't go that far & she calls her Korean neurosurgeon a Chinaman.
Dec 22 2006, 12:43 PM
exactly, AP. how can you not know how offensive that is? and how can you be a perpetrator of such ignorance? it strikes me as monumentally stupid - on top of being (still) hurtful & bigoted.
Dec 22 2006, 06:50 PM
Fuck off lambshell. Stop hanging out with those sixth graders and maybe you'll think of some grown up insults instead.
AP and grenadine, totally with you. That is such an old school racist expression, I don't understand how anyone could be so "naive." I am honestly quite surprised Rosie didn't get lambasted in the same way Mel Gibson and Michael Richards did.
Dec 22 2006, 07:02 PM
Wait, did I miss something? I didn't know that Rosie said that! When? I'm not a huge fan of hers, actually, I find her quite annoying, but I'm glad she made fun of the Trumpster. He deserves it.
Dec 22 2006, 07:21 PM
Pood, (If I may be so bold as to call you that.) right after Danny "I had too much lemoncello with George Clooney" Devito's drunken visit to the View, Rosie commented on how Chinese newscasters would talk about it. She said, "Ching chong ching ching ching chong Danny DeVito ching ching chong drunk The View ching chong." Klassy with a K.