Pot, meet kettle

Posted by · 3:00 pm · April 15th, 2009

American Apparel ad featuring Woody AllenToday’s most hilarious news item concerns an unlikely pair of names: Woody Allen and, uh, American Apparel.

The root of the story is commonplace enough: Allen sued the clothing company last year for using his image on a series of advertising billboards, without the filmmaker’s authorisation. A fair enough gripe, surely, though I’d question whether it’s worth $10 million. (Is this Woody’s new method of financing pictures? If so, I’m all for it.)

American Apparel, however, has responded by taking the decidedly low road:

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. “Certainly, our belief is that after the various sex scandals that Woody Allen has been associated with, corporate America’s desire to have Woody Allen endorse their product is not what he may believe it is.”

It’s a funny tactic, to be sure, but a bit rich coming from a company whose CEO, Dov Charney, famously masturbated in front of a journalist, and has faced numerous sexual harassment lawsuits from his own employees.

I love Allen, and am wearing an American Apparel T-shirt as we speak, but neither party exactly earned my devotion through ethical excellence — though I think Allen has the upper hand in this instance. More details here, and another of the offending billboards after the cut.

American Apparel billboard featuring Woody Allen

→ 8 Comments Tags: | Filed in: Daily

8 responses so far

  • 1 4-15-2009 at 3:05 pm

    FlamingoHotel said...

    uhmmmmmm so sexy pic

  • 2 4-15-2009 at 3:29 pm

    chad said...

    That rabbi billboard was up by my house in Echo Park and I thought it was genius.

  • 3 4-15-2009 at 4:31 pm

    jess said...

    Who else is curious about Allen teaming up with Watts and Kidman ? I know the film is supposed to be a romance, but I hope it’s darker than VCB. I hope it’s more like Husbands and Wives.

  • 4 4-15-2009 at 4:37 pm

    chad said...

    I’ll never be curious about an Allen film again. His last truly great one was officially a decade ago.

  • 5 4-16-2009 at 3:09 am

    Jonathan Spuij said...

    Wake up Chad. Match Point and VCB were good films.
    Those ads are so wrong though.

  • 6 4-16-2009 at 5:52 am

    John Foote said...

    Agree Jonathan that ‘Match Point” and “Vicky Christina Barcelona” were excellent films both, as good as his work in the seventies and eighties — great when a brilliant director-writer just keeps evolving…is there a finer American screenwriter through the seventies, eighties and nineties than Woody Allen?

  • 7 4-16-2009 at 6:18 am

    Guy Lodge said...

    “Is there a finer American screenwriter through the seventies, eighties and nineties than Woody Allen?”

    In a word, no.

    I’m halfway between Chad and Jonathan, though. As an Allen devotee, I’ve liked many of his recent films (including “Match Point” and “Vicky”), but for my money, he hasn’t made an unqualified masterpiece since “Husbands and Wives.” Since then, I agree that “Sweet and Lowdown” certainly comes closest to that mark.

  • 8 4-16-2009 at 6:55 am

    Bernardo said...

    Woody is great and most be the only person in this business that can direct and right new scripts for more then 40 years, in a row.
    And he is 100% right, in this case. I hope he gets 10 millions to home, so he can buy the best cast in the nexts movies.