It’s not about sexual harassment; it’s about the finances.
I’ve been following the news about Bill O’Reilly and his recent firing intently. The story of a serial harasser who leveraged his workplace power over the people around him is familiar to me.
So is the one where the culture of the company allows him to weather the storm around the multiple public lawsuits he was forced to settle, only to be fired when the financial pressure becomes too much to bear. Only in my situation, the accused was proud of what he did. That’s because I worked at American Apparel under its founder and CEO, Dov Charney.
Charney’s sexual transgressions have been widely documented at this point. We’ve all heard the stories of him sending explicit texts and emails to multiple employees, or about the trove of graphic videos and photos of Charney having sex with employees and models saved on a company computer. I can only confirm that these kinds of stories were traded by employees for a long time at the company.
But Charney cultivated this environment early on. Workers were vaguely told upfront to expect an “unconventional” work culture — which largely translated to sexual in nature. In order to get hired, employees had to send headshots and full-body photos of ourselves to management. It was widely known that Charney had sexual relationships with plenty of women at the company.
In light of the recent news of the Canadian clothing company Gildan buying American Apparel and its decision to shutter every retail location, I sat down and thought about everything I went through. For most of it I was in my early 20s, new to New York, and working enough overtime to enjoy a pretty good life. I came away from my …read more
Source:: Vox – All