Abercrombie & Fitch Apologizes For CEO Mike Jeffries' Comments
Abercrombie & Fitch, or more specifically, CEO Mike Jeffries, has received significant backlash for controversial statements regarding the “type” of people the brand wants in its stores. Although Jeffries issued a statement last week (with no hint of real remorse), the voices of those speaking out against Abercrombie have only gotten louder, inspiring an official corporate statement of apology.
“We look forward to continuing this dialogue and taking concrete steps to demonstrate our commitment to anti-bullying in addition to our ongoing support of diversity and inclusion,” read the statement. “We want to reiterate that we sincerely regret and apologize for any offense caused by comments we have made in the past which are contrary to these values.”
Abercrombie released the above statement following a meeting with 18-year-old activist Benjamin O’Keefe, who started the Change.org petition to urge the company to offer larger sizes. O’Keefe, who has suffered with an eating disorder in the past, went with other members of the National Eating Disorder Association to Abercrombie’s Columbus Ohio headquarters.
Jeffries unapologetic statement last week, after company policies were revealed and framed by damning 2006 quotes from the CEO, read, “While I believe this 7 year old, resurrected quote has been taken out of context, I sincerely regret that my choice of words was interpreted in a manner that has caused offense.“ He then added, "A&F is an aspirational brand that, like most specialty apparel brands, targets its marketing at a particular segment of customers.”
Ellen DeGeneres and blogger Jess Baker have both spoken out against the mass retailer. In a recent monologue DeGeneres quipped, “Fitch, please!” Baker, who admittedly doesn’t fit the mold of Jeffries' ideal model, did a mock "Attractive & Fat" ad in the brand’s clothing.
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