Former Abercrombie Manager Explains Systemic Discrimination

By Aura Bogado May 05, 2014

In an essay published on Salon, Oliver Lee Bateman, a former manager for Abercrombie & Fitch describes how he got recruited without so much as an interview–and perpetuated crass discrimination against people of color and people of size. Bateman, who’s now a history professor, explains how the company not only discriminates in the employee hiring process, but also how it encourages those employees to do its bidding on the sales floor: 

Allow me to recap:  there’s this awful, terrible, gross, maleficent company that I and thousands of other foolish young people have worked for. It’s run by some of the nastiest pieces of work in retail. Its reluctant employees, hired because they have college degrees and prepossessing, phenotypically Caucasian/Aryan bodies, are encouraged to join in the fun:  ridicule the brand representatives, laugh at fat people, and hate on everybody who isn’t "collegiate" and "quality."

You can read the essay, titled "I sold my body (and nearly my soul) to Abercrombie," in its entirety on Salon.