Galliano apologizes for anti-Semitic outburst

Christian Dior designer says anti-Semitism "have no part in our society" and "unreservedly" apologizes for causing any offense.

By GIL STERN STERN SHEFLER
March 3, 2011 03:40
2 minute read.
Fashion designer John Galliano.

John Galliano 311. (photo credit: REUTERS)

 
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British designer John Galliano apologized on Wednesday for an anti-Semitic outburst that cost him his job with fashion house Christian Dior.

“Anti-Semitism and racism have no part in our society. I unreservedly apologize for my behavior in causing any offense,” Galliano said in a statement issued through a British law firm.

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Galliano said he was “subjected to verbal harassment and an unprovoked assault when an individual tried to hit me with a chair having taken violent exception to my look and my clothing” during the altercation in a Parisian bar last week.

“For these reasons I have commenced proceedings for defamation and the threats made against me,” he said.

The Anti-Defamation League on Wednesday lauded French fashion house Christian Dior for sacking its chief designer John Galliano in the aftermath of his anti-Semitic outburst at a Paris bar.

“We salute and welcome Christian Dior’s decision to dismiss John Galliano,” Abraham H.



Foxman, ADL national director, said in a statement. “Their swift and courageous action sends a clear a clear message that this kind of anti-Semitic rhetoric is unacceptable both in the fashion world and in larger society, and that such outrageous, bigoted behavior comes with a cost.

“Dior’s response should serve an example for other corporations to deal with this kind of behavior from their employees.

There should be zero tolerance for these kinds of statements.”

The controversy began when a video of Galliano taunting patrons at a bar in Paris with racial slurs surfaced on the Internet.

In the video, the acclaimed designer declared his love for Hitler and shouted that “people like you would be dead,” and “your mothers, your forefathers” would all be “gassed.”

Jewish organizations and individuals including Jerusalem-born actress Natalie Portman, who signed a contract promoting the fashion house’s products, condemned Galliano and called for his dismissal.

In a statement, Sidney Toledano, chief executive of Dior Couture, condemned the designer’s words “in the strongest terms” and indicated that Galliano would be fired for the remarks.

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