After coming under fire, Abercrombie & Fitch CEO Mike Jeffries has issued an apology for his insensitive comments days after his inflammatory words recirculated and went viral.
On Wednesday he took to Facebook, where he talked about his statement that offended so many people, apologizing for what he said years ago. In the post, he wrote that even though the comments were “taken out of context," he regrets ever saying them.
"I want to address some of my comments that have been circulating from a 2006 interview. While I believe this 7 year old, resurrected quote has been taken out of context,” he said. “I sincerely regret that my choice of words was interpreted in a manner that has caused offense. A&F is an aspirational brand that, like most specialty apparel brands, targets its marketing at a particular segment of customers.
“However, we care about the broader communities in which we operate and are strongly committed to diversity and inclusion,” Jeffries wrote. “We hire good people who share these values. We are completely opposed to any discrimination, bullying, derogatory characterizations or other anti-social behavior based on race, gender, body type or other individual characteristics."
Jeffries' statement was originally made in a 2006 interview with Salon: “In every school there are the cool and popular kids, and then there are the not-so-cool kids,” he said in the quote that went viral. “Candidly, we go after the cool kids. We go after the attractive all-American kid with a great attitude and a lot of friends. A lot of people don't belong [in our clothes], and they can't belong. Are we exclusionary? Absolutely.”
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Actress Kirstie Alley, who has publicly struggled with her weight, recently lashed out at the company and its CEO, saying that she never wore A&F because she didn’t “belong,” but that her kids, who are the company’s “type,” will never wear its clothing, either.
"I've got two kids in that [target] bracket, but they will never walk in those doors because of his view of people -- forget women, his view of just people," she said on "Entertainment Tonight."
A Los Angeles man, Greg Karber, has been attempting to combat Jeffries' 2006 comments by donating A&F clothes to the homeless. Meanwhile, the company has agreed to sign a legally binding agreement to improve factory safety in Bangladesh after the Rana Plaza factory in Dhaka collapsed, which led to the death of more than 1,000 people.