They say the road to Hell is paved with good intentions (a phrase that should really be updated, because at this point I’m sure the paving company is using a 50/50 mix of asphalt and KUWTK reruns). But in Reese Witherspoon’s case, that phrase could be specifically tailored (get it?) to say: the road to Legal Hell is paved with a misguided social media dress contest. Because TMZ is reporting that Reese Witherspoon and her clothing label Draper James have been named in a class-action lawsuit.
Three women decided to sue Reese for getting fucked over by the free dress giveaway contest Draper James held back in April. About two weeks after the country went into COVID-19 lockdown, Draper James announced they were giving away dresses to underpaid and underappreciate teachers working from home. It was a bust. Draper James didn’t disclose that they were only giving away 250 dresses, and by the time the contest closed, nearly 1 million teachers had applied for the giveaway. Additionally, Draper James required applicants to submit a whole lot of personal information, like their school email addresses and faculty IDs. Teachers began to notice that it appeared no one was actually winning any dresses, but that every teacher received a digital discount code, which was followed by endless amounts of Draper James marketing information.
Reese realized she messed up and donated money to DonorsChoose, a non-profit organization to help public school classrooms. Draper James also issued a formal statement, saying that they were unprepared for the response and were overwhelmed by the attention their contest got.
But it wasn’t enough for the three women who are suing Reese and Draper James. According to their lawsuit, they’re not happy that Draper James required so much sensitive information from applicants. They also thought it was tacky that Draper James was planning to give away 250 dresses, which would cost the company about $12,500, when many others in Reese’s position were donating millions to COVID-19 relief. They add that Draper James wasn’t initially clear that there were only a mere 250 dresses available. And, they believe that despite the negative attention brought on by the contest, Draper James actually walked away with tons of free publicity, because the giveaway was mentioned on shows like TODAY and Good Morning America.
The women are suing on behalf of everyone who applied for a free dress and didn’t get one, and they’re seeking damages. “Yeah, we’d like to see some of Reese’s money too,” thought unemployed Quibi employees.
TMZ points out that Draper James very specifically stated in the rules of their giveaway that the offer was valid, “while supplies last.” As you can see, it’s right there in the Instagram post as well.
View this post on Instagram
Dear Teachers: We want to say thank you. During quarantine, we see you working harder than ever to educate our children. To show our gratitude, Draper James would like to give teachers a free dress. To apply, complete the form at the link in bio before this Sunday, April 5th, 11:59 PM ET. (Offer valid while supplies last – winners will be notified on Tuesday, April 7th.) ✏️📓👗 x The Draper James Team Know a teacher who deserves a pick-me-up? Forward this post or tag your favorite educator in comments. 🍎 #DJLovesTeachers
As you can also see, Draper James was also careful with their wording. They wanted to give teaches a free dress, not every teacher. Although not if you ask Reese’s lawyer, it sounds like they’re not sweating this situation too much. Her attorney, Theane Evangelis, provided the following response to this lawsuit, and basically, they think it’s bullshit.
“This lawsuit is an unjust attempt to exploit Draper James’ good intentions to honor the teacher community by gifting hundreds of free dresses. The fact that supplies were limited, such that a free dress could not be provided to every teacher who responded, was disclosed and is no basis for a lawsuit. Draper James looks forward to defending this case, to continuing its efforts to acknowledge the extraordinary contributions made by teachers during this time of need, and to being vindicated in court.”
I’m sure Reese would love to march into court and have her very expensive lawyer vindicate the shit out of her, but I also don’t think it’s going to get to that. I can see this situation being solved with a settlement. Because those three plaintiffs have already proven that they really like free stuff! So I can see Reese asking those women how many dresses it’s going to take to make their lawsuit disappear. But they need to be very clear about what they’re willing to settle for. Don’t accept anything older than two seasons or Polyester, ladies!