American Apparel in Hot Water in Harlem

Just when American Apparel had finally settled with Woody Allen and thought they were out of hot water for a while, The New York Times' City Room blog reports that a group of Harlem protesters are rallying Harlem residents to boycott the store.

The reason? Apparently the hipster uniform supplier failed to do as the Malcolm X New Millennium Committee asked and close for three hours last Thursday, May 19, in honor of the late Malcolm X's birthday.

One member of the group claims to have "hand-delivered the letter," but a spokesperson for the chain claims that the management of the American Apparel store on 125th street claims they never knew about anything. "Once the marchers reached our store in Harlem, the manager immediately closed the store."

As The New York Times reports, however, these types of requests drew drawn fire some years ago from store owners who felt that they shouldn't be forced by the marchers to comply. And some blogs from this year's events also reported that, when the marchers passed, the people still within stores were shamed by the marchers for staying open and (seemingly) intimidated into leaving.

So on the one hand, this is certainly some bad PR for American Apparel, a chain that—at this point—should be just trying to keep its nose clean. But on the other hand, it sounds like tensions are running high in Harlem over this issue regardless?

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