What does Oscar-winning auteur Woody Allen have in common with American Apparel? Sex scandals! Well, that clears up at least one question for me, since I hadn't really wrapped my head around why the Los Angeles-based clothing company used Allen's image on a couple of billboards and its Web site last year. The move triggered a $10 million lawsuit from Allen, who said he didn't endorse the controversial maker of itty-bitty T-shirts and didn’t approve the use of a shot of him from Annie Hall. (His character was dressed as a Hasidic Jew—a perfect match for American Apparel, which usually advertises on the gaunt backs of childlike models, right?)
Now, the marketer plans to defend itself by arguing that Allen already ruined his own image and is essentially worthless as a spokesman. That affair in the '90s with his then-stepdaughter (now wife) Soon-Yi Previn made him a marketing pariah, at least in the U.S., American Apparel's attorneys said. They're demanding all sorts of supporting materials from Allen's personal life for the case, including naked photos he allegedly took of Previn years ago. Talk about discovery! Did American Apparel founder and chief underpants flaunter Dov Charney forget that he's been at the center of a number of sexual embroglios in his day? Pot, meet kettle. Maybe the soft-porn ads that built the company are safer after all.
—Posted by T.L. Stanley