Dov Charney Speaks Out Against Media and Woody Allen

A little background: Woody Allen is suing American Apparel a total of $10 million for using his likeness in billboard advertisements without his permission. The billboards feature Allen dressed as a Hasidic Jew and are taken from his magnum opus “Annie Hall” accompanied by Yiddish script that translates to ‘the holy rebbe’.

Amidst the media back and forth American Apparel CEO Dov Charney has remained surprisingly tight lipped, that is, until now. Writing on a blog post from the AA website Charney addresses the media misconceptions surrounding the case while showing Allen some love. Wasn’t life simpler when all you had to worry about was legalizing immigrant workers and shooting pseudo porn?

“I have not made personal comments to the press in the last few months because of the impending trial of this case. However, during the last month, numerous inaccurate reports have appeared in the media which have created misperceptions I feel compelled to correct. The media has misinformed the public that American Apparel supposedly plans to make Woody Allen’s personal life the central focus of our defense. This is false. It has also been reported that American Apparel intends to call Mia Farrow or Soon Yi as witnesses in the upcoming trial. This also is false.

I have deep respect for Mr. Allen who is a source of inspiration to me. The billboards and images from the Annie Hall movie were intended to be a parody/social statement and comedic satire to provoke discussion and public discourse about the baseless claims that had been made against American Apparel and myself, society’s reaction to lawsuits that delve into an individual’s private sexual life and the media’s sensationalism of such matters.

The false media reportage is an obfuscation of the key issue in the case, which is whether the use of an image from the film Annie Hall, depicting Mr. Allen as the character Alvi Singer, for purposes of evoking a societal discussion about these issues is protected by the First Amendment.

In Hustler Magazine, Inc. v. Falwell, The Supreme Court of the United States unanimously proclaimed: “At the heart of the First Amendment is the recognition of the fundamental importance of the free flow of ideas and opinions on matters of public interest and concern. The freedom to speak one’s mind is not only an aspect of individual liberty – and thus a good unto itself – but also is essential to the common quest for truth and the vitality of society as a whole. We have therefore been particularly vigilant to ensure that individual expressions of ideas remain free from governmentally imposed sanctions.””