A leaked email for an American Apparel casting call said no "Instagram hoes" are welcomed, according to reports.
While the casting agency took full responsibility for the email, the revelation comes as American Apparel tries to move past previous controversies, as well as the firing of founder Dov Charney in December amid sexual misconduct allegations.
Animal NewYork obtained the email sent by casting agent Photogenics that called for models to attend the March 18 call at American Apparel's Los Angeles office. "Company is going through a rebranding image so will be shooting models moving forward. Real models. Not Instagram hoes or THOTS," read the message, written in all caps. (THOT is an acronym for "that hoe over there.")
In a statement, Photogenics agency Director Phira Luon, who reportedly wrote the email, told Animal the note was intended only for a few who would be attending. "The comment made at the end was made in jest with models whom i have a personal relationship with and did not reflect the views, or directives by the client. i apologize to all those who were offended or affected by my comments, as it was not my intention."
Luon also addressed the email in the New York Post, calling it “an inappropriate, off-color joke that was not intended to defame the client’s name or philosophy/views in any way.”
Cynthia Erland, American Apparel's senior vice president of marketing, also emphasized to The Huffington Post in a statement that the email neither came from American Apparel nor represented its values.
"It's just completely false that American Apparel is only using professional models, and we have had and continue to have public casting calls on our calendar," she said. "We continue to look for diverse models of all sizes and backgrounds that look great in our clothes, and these open casting calls play a key role. Suggestions to the contrary are the result of an email written by a non-American Apparel employee that does not reflect our company's beliefs in any way, and they have since apologized for writing it."
As Design & Trend notes, American Apparel has used amateur models in suggestive ads in the past. After new CEO Paula Schneider was hired in December, some wondered if the brand was going to tone things down.
This article was updated with a response from American Apparel's Cynthia Erland.