Woody Allen, American Apparel settle lawsuit for $5M

woody amapp

Woody Allen agreed today to a $5 million settlement in his lawsuit accusing American Apparel of using an image parodying him as a rabbi without his permission.

Allen said he hoped the outcome “would discourage American Apparel or anyone else from ever trying such a thing again.” American Apparel president Dov Charney told reporters it wasn’t his decision to settle. The company’s insurance company “controlled the defense” in the case, he said.

Allen sued the company last year for $10 million after the ads turned up on billboards in Hollywood and New York, and on a Website. Using a frame from the film “Annie Hall,” the ads depicted Allen as a Hasidic Jew — long beard, side curls, black hat — and featured Yiddish text meaning “the holy rebbe.”

Court papers filed on Allen’s behalf say he believes maintaining strict control over his image has been critical to his success.  The papers claimed he hasn’t done commercials since 1960s, when he was a struggling standup comic. The billboards, he says, falsely implied he endorsed a clothing line known for its racy advertising.

American Apparel lawyers have called the $10 million demand “outrageous.” They also have threatened to call Allen’s former longtime companion, actress Mia Farrow, and his current wife, Soon-Yi Previn, as witnesses to show that his image has already been devalued by scandal.

Note: This last part is LOW, even for a company like American Apparel, which relies heavily on ads featuring nearly naked teen girls, and a CEO facing his own lawsuits for sexual harassing numerous employees.

1 Comment

Filed under bogus controversies

One response to “Woody Allen, American Apparel settle lawsuit for $5M

  1. J/R

    It seems to me Woody is perfectly within his rights, precisely because American Apparel just decided they would do whatever they wanted, using someone else’s intellectual property, without a thought of any kind to what that would mean for the person they took from.

    $10 million would be an outrageous request if American Apparel were an adolescent know-nothing sending a slideshow of funny images to their friends; but American Apparel is not that, or at least it’s corporate leadership should be horrified that they so clearly revealed that such is their level of sophistication.

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