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American Apparel just can’t seem to help itself — and that’s even without Dov Charney running the show. The latest inappropriateness to come out of the L.A.-based company is just in time for Black Friday: Retail employees were asked to wear T-shirts that said “Ask Me to Take It All Off” for the big shopping day.
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As Jezebel reported, wearing the shirt was optional, but highly encouraged. And, if employees chose not to wear the shirt, they were to don a plain black tee with a button bearing the same message. But, after all the fuss, the company now has decided to discontinue the shirts.
According to a brand representative, “This slogan on these T-shirts — which were distributed to both male and female employees as optional — was originally intended to be a play on words to engage customers during our Black Friday sale, which features an additional 50 percent off items that are already marked down 50 percent. We understand this offended an individual employee who spoke up about his/her concerns.” (The full statement is on Jezebel.)
Apparently an anonymous A.A. source had told Jezebel that the company is “scaling back up toward a sexier image” and that this is part of that plan. Understandably, the source said it made the employees uncomfortable, like they’re setting themselves up to be harassed.
The A.A. source told Jezebel, “Now they are actively encouraging our patrons to sexually harass me and my colleagues, some of whom are as young as 15. … There’s no question in my mind that anyone wearing the shirt will face inappropriate comments from customers.”
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