Bintel Blog

American Apparel to Woody: We’re Sorry (and We’re Parodists)

By Daniel Treiman

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American Apparel is apologizing to Woody Allen after he filed a $10 million lawsuit against the trendy T-shirt monger for its unauthorized use of an image of him dressed in Hasidic garb on a pair of billboards.

“We deeply admire Woody Allen as a filmmaker and an inspiring social and political satirist,” the company said in a press release. “We sincerely regret offending him in any way.”

But, given that words are cheap and lawsuits are expensive, American Apparel also tried to cover its tuchus from legal standpoint, claiming that the billboards featuring the image of Allen (filched from his film “Annie Hall”) were not, in fact, intended to sell underwear, but were rather “meant strictly as a social parody.”

The question, of course, is what aspect of society, exactly, were the underwear-purveying parodists parodying?

Could it be, given that an American Apparel rep had originally told the Forward, “Woody Allen is our spiritual leader,” the billboards were an ever-so-ironic commentary on the company’s own social and spiritual shortcomings? But that would be more satire than parody.

anonymous Thu. Apr 3, 2008

An atheist Jew sues another atheist Jew for using his mockery of religion without permission. Both Woody Allen and Dov Charney are making our people look bad.

Rachel Garber Sun. Apr 6, 2008

Woody Allen as much of the "famous" Jewish men of his generation such as Philip Roth can't seem deal with their Jewishness, or like Noam Chomsky have to be apologists for the Palestinians, I find is the use of Woody Allen's image as a purveyor of underwear very ironic. Except for the fact that I recall the scene the American Apparel people was of Woody Allen imaging that Diane (the shiksa) Keaton's family saw him as a Hasidic Jew. How offensive. Given the fact that he finally got his shiksa in the guise of his step-daughter (sorry, guys, he functioned as her father, therefore, it was as icky as a lot of women believed it to be) I hate to say this, but if the image I am conjuring is accurate, I find it offensive that the American Apparel would even contemplate using that as an ad for underwear. That's appalling. Much as I hate to say it, I'm glad that Mr. Allen objected, that is so offensive. What were they thinking? Is there no limit to the gall of advertisers offensive ideas.

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