We deeply admire Woody Allen as a filmmaker and an inspiring social and political satirist, the company said today in a press release. We sincerely regret offending him in any way.
Film Director, Producer and actor, Woody Allen filed suit against American Apparel on Monday for using his image on billboards in New York and California in May 2007, the Wall Street Journal reported.
The suit was filed U.S. District Court in Manhattan, and demanded compensation of $10 million from the apparel company.
AAI's unlawful use of Allen's image for commercial advertising purpose is especially egregious and damaging because Allen does not commercially endorse any products in the United States of America, the document said.
In the image - taken from the film Annie Hall - Woody Allen is dressed as a rabbi wearing glasses and the words the Holy Rebbe are spelled in Yiddish. Below, the words American Apparel are visible.
In spite of being shown on the clothes makers commercial properties, the company insists it had no intent of selling garments through the use of Allen's image.
Our use of his image dressed as a Hasidic character alongside Yiddish text was meant strictly as a social parody, the company said. Although we generally use our two billboards (one in New York on the Lower East Side, and the other in Echo Park, Los Angeles), for commercial purposes, we also use them as vehicle for non-commercial social and political commentary.
Allen's lawyers were not available for comment.