ENTERTAINMENT

George Clooney's tequila company denies Mexican distillery is a sweatshop

Amal and George Clooney at the official launch of Casamigos Tequila on August 23, 2015 in Ibiza, Spain.

Amal and George Clooney at the official launch of Casamigos Tequila on August 23, 2015 in Ibiza, Spain.  (2015 David M. Benett)

George Clooney’s Casamigos Tequila is denouncing reports that its distillery in Mexico is a sweatshop that forces employees to work in punishing conditions for as little as $3.33 a day.

The company issued a statement that a report by OK! magazine was “completely false.” It claims that the story was concocted by competitors seeking to tarnish the company’s reputation.

“In fact, the National Enquirer squashed the story they were sold when it was brought to their attention the story was fabricated and the reality is the complete opposite of what they were being sold,” said a statement to Gossip Cop from Casamigos Tequila partners Clooney, Rande Gerber and Mike Meldman. “Our lawyers were in fact told by the National Enquirer that given the evidence, they halted their cover story. Their sister company, OK Magazine had already gone to print so it was too late to stop the story. They promised it would not be released online, and it hasn’t.”

In its story, OK! magazine claimed that an insider for Casamigos Tequila said that employees are in constant risk of injury at the job, are forced to work weekends and there is only one “single filthy restroom for all the workers to share.”

“When we work, we aren’t allowed to talk, to avoid accidents. If we’re busy, we must not talk at all,” the supposed insider told OK!

Casamigos said the tequila is in fact produced at “the finest and most respected distillery in a small agricultural town in the highlands of Jalisco, Mexico,” adding that the operations are fully regulated by the country’s tequila industry regulatory agency.

“We visited the distillery earlier this year and saw none of the supposed conditions listed by this tabloid,” the statement continued. “All staff [members] are of legal working age, the staff is paid well above what Mexican law requires, overtime work is optional and is compensated by overtime pay, and the working conditions at the distillery are sanitary, safe, and consistent with industry standards.”

The company said that had they found subpar conditions at the company they would have addressed the issue immediately.

“Casamigos is confident that the allegations contained in this tabloid story are completely false,” the statement said. “If we had found any single part of this to be true, it would have been addressed immediately and very publicly.”

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