This Fashion Brand Offered Mike ‘The Situation’ Sorrentino $10,000 to Stop Wearing Its Clothes
Mike “The Situation” Sorrentino has made a name for himself on Jersey Shore and Jersey Shore: Family Vacation. Before Sorrentino transformed into “Big Daddy Sitch,” there was one clothing brand that didn’t want Sorrentino to be seen wearing its name. In fact, they made him an offer for thousands of dollars so that he wouldn’t wear their clothes.
‘The Situation’ sued Abercrombie & Fitch
In 2013, Sorrentino went after the popular clothier Abercrombie & Fitch. At the time, they released a shirt that read “The Fitchuation.” According to The Hollywood Reporter, Sorrentino was suing for “committed trademark infringement, unfair competition, false advertising, injury to business reputation, and misappropriation of likeness.”
Thanks to the success of Jersey Shore, Sorrentino was selling his own merchandise, which included shirts that read: “Official Situation Nation” and “The Situation.” While none of his merchandise read “The Fitchuation,” he still sued the major clothing brand.
U.S. District Judge John O’Sullivan shot down Sorrentino’s claims. “The T-shirt expresses ‘The Fitchuation’ visually and phonetically different than ‘The Situation,'” Judge O’Sullivan explained in his ruling. “There is no evidence of A&F ‘palming off’ its T-shirt as that of the plaintiffs where, as here, the T-shirt has the A&F inside label and prominently uses A&F’s famous trademark ‘Fitch’ as part of the parody.”
Ultimately, he granted Abercrombie & Fitch summary judgment.
Abercrombie & Fitch didn’t want exposure from ‘Jersey Shore’
Typically, editors blur brand names out to avoid any copyright infringement or defamation of a brand. Allegedly, MTV neglected to blur out the Abercrombie & Fitch logo on a pair of Sorrentino’s green sweatpants. After the brand name was seen by Jersey Shore viewers, Abercrombie & Fitch reached out to MTV to correct the issue.
The concern was that viewers would see the “A&F logo” and view it as an “endorsement [from] A&F of the raucous behavior on the show,'” according to The Hollywood Reporter.
‘The Situation’ got a $10,000 offer from Abercrombie & Fitch
In the past, Sorrentino was often out in public wearing Abercrombie & Fitch. Because the brand perceived his image to be a negative one, they asked that he no longer wear their clothes while filming for MTV’s reality series. The brand sweetened the deal with a cash offering for Sorrentino.
Sorrentino’s representatives said he was offered $10,000 not to wear the clothing brand on Jersey Shore. “We have no interest at this point in pursuing any sort of legal action against MTV or the producers of Jersey Shore,” a letter to MTV’s co-general counsel George Cheeks read. “In fact, we would be willing to pay MTV or Mr. Sorrentino or other characters up to $10,000 NOT to wear any clothing bearing the “Abercrombie & Fitch” trademarks.” The letter was signed by Ronald Robins Jr., the Senior Vice President of the clothing brand.
‘The Situation’ wears his own styles now
Today, the Abercrombie & Fitch legal issue is behind Sorrentino. Now, he doesn’t have to worry about what he wears. The Situation Store is an online boutique that offers various apparel featuring some of Sorrentino’s famous phrases.