Abercrombie and Fitch CEO, Mike Jeffries, Pushes Freedom of Speech Limits
How far is too far?
In recent news, the CEO Mike Jeffries, of Abercrombie and Fitch, voiced that he does not carry large sizes for women in his stores because he does not want that population to shop there. If you walk into any Abercrombie and Fitch store, you will notice that they do not carry XL or XXL sized clothing for women. They do, however, carry that size for men to “appeal to large athletes.”
Jeffries says the company’s marketing technique is directed toward “good-looking people,” stating, “It’s almost everything. That’s why we hire good-looking people in our stores, because good-looking people attract other good-looking people, and we want to market to cool, good-looking people. We don’t market to anyone other than that.”
Some people would say what Mike Jeffries’ statements and hiring policies are discriminatory and a form of hate speech. Others would say it is his First Amendment right to be able to say what he wants and market his company to who he chooses. Should there be laws in place to stop people like Jeffries from conducting business this way?
The First Amendment protects freedom of speech, of the press, of association, of assembly, and petition in order to protect the freedom of expression granted to American citizens. Based off of our First Amendment rights, what Jeffries said is protected, even if it is hurtful. In another case in Cincinnati, a comedian was sued for telling a crowd of people to “laugh at the crippled girl”, and won the case because, although it was an inappropriate and disturbing comment, his freedom of speech was protected under the First Amendment.
On the contrary, the anti-discrimination law protects a person’s right to be treated equally, regardless of sex, age, ethnicity, nationality, sexual orientation, gender identity, religion and political opinions. The company had already come under fire in 2004 with a class action lawsuit after being accused for hiring mostly white employees in their stores, as well as many other lawsuits in Great Britain and Milan, Italy due to discrimination.
The 10 Most Ridiculous Things Mike Jeffries Has Said: