Lululemon founder Chip Wilson doesn’t think his comment that a New York Times journalist is on “Jewish standard time” is newsworthy. In fact, as far as he’s concerned, it’s a media “manufactured fantasy.”
But we’ll just leave this article here and let you decide for yourself.
In an interview published in the New York Times earlier this week, the famed entrepreneur grew his roster of eyebrow-raising comments.
Times reporter Katie Rosman noted she arrived 15 minutes late to a breakfast at Wilson’s new company, Kit and Ace.
“Now we know,” Rosman quoted Wilson as saying, “that when we have breakfast with Katie, we don’t really have to be there when we say we will be there.”
When a colleague of Wilson’s tried to interject, noting that she herself is sometimes “socially late,” Wilson spoke up again.
“Jewish Standard Time,” he said. “It’s showing you didn’t respect your friends’ time.”
In my years of reporting, I’ve never quite had an experience like being late-shamed by Lululemon founder Chip Wilson https://t.co/jO0iKkdRuO
— katie rosman (@katierosman) February 2, 2016
He also caused an uncomfortable moment when referred to a colleague by declaring, “Look at the beautiful girl I get to sit beside!”
Naturally, Wilson’s comments sparked some snark on social media.
It also prompted the Globe and Mail to reach out to Wilson, who responded with the following statement:
“As human beings, let’s call it like it is … Any attempt by the press to make this controversial and into something it is not – is because media is a digital commodity product, unable to differentiate itself in any way but through manufactured fantasy. The media needs to create news in order to manufacture media hits, and sell ads. I understand and I am sympathetic.”
Ouch, Mr. Wilson!
Wilson has developed a reputation for off-colour comments, perhaps most famously with his 2013 declaration on Bloomberg TV that “some women’s bodies” just aren’t right for Lululemon clothes.
“I became a scapegoat for a lot of people not doing what they were supposed to do,” he told the Times about that incident. “It was Machiavellian rules, but I didn’t know I was playing a game.”
He added, “I’ve been coached not to say the things that I’m saying.”
— Sunny Dhillon (@TheSunnyDhillon) February 5, 2016
Wilson has also gotten media attention for promoting the ideas of libertarian writer Ayn Rand at his stores; he reportedly told the National Post he called his yogawear chain Lululemon because it’s hard for Japanese people to pronounce the word; and he voiced support for child labour, arguing it could help developing countries out of poverty.
Wilson founded Lululemon in Vancouver in 1998, and stepped down as CEO in 2005. He served as non-executive chairman until December, 2013, stepping down shortly after the “women’s bodies” controversy.
His and his family’s new business venture is fashion retailer Kit and Ace.
Is Chip Wilson’s “Jewish Standard Time” comment newsworthy, or is it a “manufactured fantasy” as he contends? Let us know in the comments below.