Oh, where to begin. Rosie Gray over at the Village Voice scored an interview with embattled American Apparel CEO and founder Dov Charney, and it's packed with memorable lines. As (full disclosure) a former employee of his who has listened in on countless conference calls, I can say that he's always very quotacious — but never before has he compared himself to Michael Jackson, at least to my knowledge.
Yes, I said Michael Jackson:
VV: How do you deal with your bad reputation?
DC: I don't know if my reputation is bad. I mean, you're free to say that. I don't know if it's for sure that one could stamp "bad reputation" on my forehead. There's a class of people who don't think Michael Jackson was guilty of some of the things he was accused of. Not everybody believes what they read. The media — there's a nasty streak in the media. They succumb to stereotype. You know, I find myself reading stories that are salacious. What are you going to do? I know of many people that are excited to meet me and tell me that they're inspired by me. It's kind of interesting because there are so many people that admire what I do.
VV: Among who?
DC: I have academics that call me frequently and write me. I have employees that are extremely loyal to what I do — my mission. I have fans.
Academics! The venerable Mr. Charney also offered his (unsolicited) take on Charlie Sheen:
I think Charlie Sheen, the obsession everybody had with Charlie Sheen — the guy went authentic. People were enamored by him because of the authenticity he provided. Everyone in Hollywood is so bloody frightened right now. Some may argue that he went off the deep end, but on the other hand, everyone wants to tune into his story.
And for good measure, he threw Pee-wee Herman into the mix:
Pee-wee Herman — look at the disruption to the career of Pee-wee Herman, because of some minor improprieties. Look at how amazing an actor Paul Reubens is. The media and law enforcement really framed him up good on some minor improprieties at the expense of society. He's such a great individual and such a great actor. Look at how endearing his acting abilities are. It's a witch hunt. It's minor stuff that had no meaning. What did he do? Played with himself in a dirty theater? That's what those theaters are for, I thought.
And that's not even close to the end of it. For more good times, check out the full interview over at the Voice.