Ousted American Apparel CEO allegedly called Filipinos ‘pigs’

By , on June 26, 2015

American Apparel ousted CEO and founder Dov Charney (Photo from Flickr/dovcharney)
American Apparel ousted CEO and founder Dov Charney (Photo from Flickr/dovcharney)

MANILA – American Apparel founder Dov Charney, who was ousted from his position as CEO, purportedly referred to his Filipino employees as ‘pigs.’

After being fired from ‘his own company’ over a year ago, Charney filed a defamation lawsuit, questioning the legalities of him being overthrown when he was the one who conceived the clothing company.

American Apparel then sent documents to the court detailing evidences on how Charney was no longer fit for the position. In the papers, he had been criticized for his abusive behavior, misuse of funds and sexual harassment on models and workers.

Also included in the documents are instances when he violated the company’s anti-discrimination policy by allegedly discriminating his Filipino employees with insults such as calling them, ‘Filipino pigs… with your faces in the trough.’ He also reported told them that he was their ‘Ferdinand Marcos’ so they should follow his every command.

Even the clothing company itself has launched racist campaigns, such as the “Made in Bangladesh” ads. Charney had been with the company for almost 25 years.

After learning about Charney’s derogatory statements, Filipino-American group West Bay Pilipino Multi-Service Center has then considered filing a class action suit against the ousted CEO in behalf of the discriminated Filipino employees.

“If Filipinos allow attacks like this, racial profiling attacks, to go unanswered, then it’s open season on other Filipino workers. So if we set the stage here and say there will be consequences to what you said about Filipinos, then that’s a shout across the board to other employers,” West Bay legal counsel Rodel Rodis said in an ABS-CBN report.

The Filipino-American group also urged Filipinos to boycott American Apparel products until the company reaches out to them.

“You cannot continue now without consulting our community on how to do your best practices. We need input. This is one of the ways that you can make amends. So, come here to San Francisco. We’ll meet you,” West Bay executive director Vivian Zalvidea Araullo said in the same report.

  • Brook Lyn

    No one ever alleged that Dov Charney discriminated against Filipino workers at American Apparel. The allegation was a fiction. No Filipino workers or Filipino fashion models have confirmed the allegation. To the contrary they have all shown respect for Charney.

    In fact, on May 6, 2014, shortly before being ousted from the company he founded, Charney debuted a CNN documentary film called “Documented” by Filipino American Jose Antonio Vargas, a Pulitzer Prize winning journalist and activist, who documented his journey as an immigrant in the US. Click here to see the flyer for the film, which was attended by hundreds of employees and guests, including dozens of Filipino employees and members of the Filipino American Worker Center.