Less than a week after the retailer wowed us with a video of their models jubilantly touring the world sans shirts, Abercrombie and Fitch has been hit with a million dollar lawsuit. Former employee Benjamine Bowers claims that during a June 2011 photo shoot in Jackson, Mississippi, modeling agent Brian Hilburn told him to strip and masturbate in front of the camera.
Bowers, who was referred to Hilburn by an A&F casting director, states that the photog wanted him to do the nasty during the shoot so he could capture his expression after the model reached orgasm. The former A&F employee states that after he finished masturbating, Hilburn exposed himself and commented on the size of their respective penises.
The model states that he feels “used” and believes that photos were never meant to help his career but were only taken to give Hilburn “a cheap thrill.” He’s suing Hilburn and Abercrombie and Fitch for one million dollars.
The brand’s advertising has become known for its paradoxically blatant yet latent homoeroticism. Gay erotica photographer, Bruce Weber, has shot quite a few of their models and released some rather steamy commercials. While Abercrombie and Fitch’s ads may border on pure unadulterated sexploitation, this is the kind of casting couch crap we’d expect from American Apparel.