American Apparel Ad Uses ‘California Farmer’ As Accessory in Ad

Meet Raul, American Apparels latest accessory.

By Jorge Rivas May 21, 2012

American Apparel is no stranger to starting controversies with their hyper-sexual ads that feature young women in provocative poses. But the clothing manufacturer seems to have kicked it up a notch to get some attention by including a Latino "California farmer" who’s engaging in "public relations" with a young white women.

The Summer 2011 ad seems to have gone under radar until Comedian Fahim Anwar tweeted a screen capture of the ad on Saturday.

"Robin a USC student, studying Public Relations, with Raul a California farmer in Denim and Chambray," reads the caption under the image of a Latino man and a young white women holding on to his arm.

"American Apparel has officially lost their minds," Anwar wrote in his tweet.

There is something that feels off in the ad that stars Raul and Robin. Both subjects look uncomfortable with each other and as a result both subjects look like props.

American Apparel has been widely recognized as an ally in the immigration reform movement even after working conditions in their Los Angeles factory have come under question. The company’s signature white T-shirts with the phase "legalize L.A." are a staple at immigration protest in Los Angeles and until 2009 the company hired undocumented workers that according to the company were paid a living wage. However, in Septermber 2009, after a long fight with ICE and threats of a raid, the company fired 1,800 undocumented workers.

Still something feels off with the ad. Maybe it would have been better if they had taken both subjects in to the studio and shot them behind a plain backdrop like American Apparel does with most ads and included a caption about agricultural workers and how they’re paid so little that chances are they can’t even afford a plain $18 American Apparel t-shirt.