American Apparel Pulled Its Controversial Black Friday Employee T-Shirts

Photo: Bloomberg/Getty Images.
American Apparel is facing backlash for suggesting that employees wear black T-shirts emblazoned with the phrase "Ask Me To Take It All Off" for Black Friday. The slogan, which was also written on buttons that sales associates could opt to wear, references the retailer's slated sale for the epic shopping day, in which items marked down 50% will be discounted an additional 50%. Following some pretty negative feedback across the web about the shirts, the retailer shelved the idea last night.

Word about the suggested holiday uniform surfaced when an employee emailed women's "geek culture" website The Mary Sue yesterday afternoon. The irritated employee claimed American Apparel was "actively encouraging our patrons to sexually harass me and my colleagues, some of whom are as young as 15" with the proposed (but not mandatory) garb in question. "There’s no question in my mind that anyone wearing the shirt will face inappropriate comments from customers," the anonymous employee told the site.
Criticism about the shirts ensued, unsurprisingly, and the retailer announced last night that the optional outfit was a no-go: "We have decided to discontinue encouraging employees to wear this slogan and will seek other ways to stay creative and push the envelope, which is part of our brand DNA," an American Apparel spokesperson told Refinery29.

“This slogan on these tee shirts — which were distributed to both male and female employees as optional — was originally intended to be a play on words to engage customers during our Black Friday sale," the company's spokesperson said in a statement. "We understand that this offended an individual employee who spoke up about his/her concerns."

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