Owner of Feminist Apparel fires employees after being confronted about sexual assault claims: report
Alan J. Martofel is the owner of a woman empowerment brand called Feminist Apparel. After employees caught wind of his past dealings with sexual harassment, they confronted him, and a week later they were fired.
The Philadelphia-based owner, posted to Facebook in 2013, about his sexual assault past, and said he started the company once his views changed.
“On Thursday, June 21st, the team at Feminist Apparel was informed that Alan Martofel – a man that we worked for, trusted, and listened to – is a sexual abuser,” one of the employee wrote in a blog post.
“The business and platform he created was fostered by many employees over the years to become a place where survivors, victims, and their supporters felt safe to talk about their experiences and how to support one another,” an employee wrote in the blog post. “Once we finally knew the truth we realized none of us were ever safe to share in these spaces.”
Martofel responded to the allegations in a July 4th statement. “This was not a private message someone dug up. This was something I went out of my way to share with my community at the time as a means to spark dialogue around the negative impact of toxic masculinity,” Martofel wrote. “I acknowledged my wrongdoing and committed myself to work within this movement.”
However, people on social media slammed Martofel for profiting off of abuse.
“The owner of Feminist Apparel—a straight cis man—was outed for sexual abuse and fired 10 of his employees for trying to hold him accountable,” one Twitter user wrote. “All money being made by the company is going to him right now. This needs to stop, and people need to be aware of what’s happened.”
“Woooooow. You’re a POS Alan. CIS white male started a company profiting off of #sexualassault victims, is an abuser himself. Has fired everyone who spoke up about it, and fired designers after he got all the money he could out of them,” a Twitter user posted.
According to the Philly Voice, Martofel declined a request to further comment on the story and said his statement “encompasses my current public thoughts on the matter.”