American Apparel faced criticism early in its existence for its racy marketing campaigns, which Charney always defended. (Via American Apparel)
"I think the company is very much a reflection of the sensibilities of the next generation of adults coming upstream right now," Charney said. (Via CBS)
However, the company has posted financial losses recently and a lot of that has been blamed on Charney's antics both in and out of the office.
The controversy began in 2004, when he was accused of repeatedly masturbating during interviews with a Jane Magazine reporter. And continued in 2008, when he was sued for asking an employee to touch herself in front of him. Then a former accountant claimed Charney asked him to inflate figures on the company's balance sheet. And the list goes on from there. (Via Jane, Jezebel, Wall Street Journal)
Most recently, in 2011, a 21-year-old employee attempted to sue the 45-year-old executive for $260 million for allegedly making her his "sex slave." But the suit was complicated after the New York Post reported that the employee allegedly sent dozens of nude photos of herself to Charney.
The New York Times reports the straw that broke the camel's back was an internal investigation revealing Charney's misuse of company money and that he allowed an employee to post nude photos online of a former female employee who had sued the former CEO.
Prior to this, Charney was mostly in the news for American Apparel's unusually fair wages for garment workers. (Via Flickr / dovcharney)
American Apparel board member Allan Mayer told CNN that Charney took the news of his termination very civilly but he expects him to challenge the board's decision. Mayer said he is confident firing Charney was the right move for the company.
After the board of directors announced Wednesday night that that they would be firing Charney, the company's stock rose 19 percent by Thursday morning. (Via Forbes)
Charney has 30 days before his termination becomes final. It is unclear what legal action he will take, if any, against the company he founded from his college dorm room in 1989.