American Apparel Plays Dirty Against Woody Allen


(Image: Black Book)

Woody Allen sued American Apparel last year for $10 million, claiming the company had used unauthorized images on two billboards last year. According to the AP, American Apparel responded by claiming Allen had already ruined his image himself through his contentious sex life. More:

Allen, who does not endorse products in the United States, said he had not authorized the displays, which the Los Angeles-based company said were up for only a week. Allen’s lawsuit said the billboard falsely implied that Allen sponsored, endorsed or was associated with American Apparel.

Now the company plans to make Allen’s relationships to actress Mia Farrow and her adopted daughter Soon-Yi Previn the focus of a trial scheduled to begin in federal court in Manhattan on May 18, according to the company’s lawyer, Stuart Slotnick.

“Woody Allen expects $10 million for use of his image on billboards that were up and down in less than one week. I think Woody Allen overestimates the value of his image,” Slotnick said. Slotnick said it was not a cheap shot to bring up Allen’s sex life in a lawsuit over the billboard and Internet ads.

Not a cheap shot? The fact is that American Apparel put a billboard up without asking for permission. The company valued Allen’s image enough to want it on a billboard in the first place.

Claiming Allen sullied his own reputation prior to the ads being put up, and therefore doesn’t deserve compensation, is the ultimate cheap shot. The tactic is probably to aggravate Allen into a settlement. The message I take away is that American Apparel plays dirty. Doesn’t make me want to buy their clothes, that’s for sure.

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Written by Drea Knufken

Drea Knufken

Currently, I create and execute content- and PR strategies for clients, including thought leadership and messaging. I also ghostwrite and produce press releases, white papers, case studies and other collateral.