Flamboyant fashion designer John Galliano has been sacked by Christian Dior, and could face jail time after being arrested for shouting anti-Semitic insults, and assault, in a Paris bar.
A video capturing him indulging in another anti-Semitic rant was recently released by The Sun.
The footage shows a clearly drunk Galliano telling two women (off camera) that he loves Hitler, that their ‘mothers and forefathers would have been gassed’ and that they are ugly.
Yes the fact that the incident was caught on camera makes its origins slightly dubious, but it takes literally a second to press record if you have your iPhone camera all ready to take a snap of the famous designer seated near your table.
Besides which, no amount of ‘entrapment’ speculation changes the opinions Galliano expressed earlier this month, and has alluded to previously.
The official statement from Dior does not spell that out of course, as the fashion house presumably feel that sacking him for his “odious behaviour” is clear enough.
The latest incident happened just this month, but it is the video footage which is the focus of the media.
And public anti-Semitism in any form is unacceptable, even to a fashion house which has long held ties to the Nazi regime.
Françoise Dior, the late niece of Christian Dior was married to British Nazi Colin Jordan in a heavily publicised 1964 ceremony during which the couple mingled blood from their cut fingers over a copy of Hitler’s Mein Kampf and Dior told press she wanted ‘little Nazi children’.(wikipedia.org)
Christian Dior served in the French military, later designing the wedding dresses for the wives of the Nazi officers during in World War II, but his niece’s marriage to Jordan began a lifelong division within the family.
And a Nazi past does not equate to anti-Semitism in today’s political climate.
Jerusalem- born, newly Oscar winning actress Natalie Portman, has already expressed her anger and disgust at Galliano’s behaviour, saying:
“As an individual who is proud to be Jewish, I will not be associated with Mr Galliano in any way.” (The Guardian)
Portman is the face of Miss Dior Cherie perfume and I would be interested to know whether the actress was unaware of Dior’s Nazi connections, or simply felt that (reasonably enough) they held no association with the personnel currently employed by the business.
However, apparently, not everybody share’s Portman’s disgust.
Giorgio Armani reportedly said he “felt sorry” for Galliano. Hmm, that’s perilously close to sympathising with him and that is very very dangerous. Supporting your peers is all very well, but unconditional support can be misinterpreted.
Back to Galliano and the suggestion that the designer has ‘cracked up’ is being subtly implied through various media. Drunken rants often give the appearance of madness but in the video, Galliano just looks decadently drunk and disgusted. For a gay fashion designer to declare his love for Hitler is bizarre, but the arrogance of Galliano’s declaration suggests a tenuous grasp on what constitutes acceptable behaviour. That is not madness, it’s just celebrity!
Given Dior’s previous links to Nazis, perhaps Galliano thought it was perfectly acceptable to spout anti-Semitic rantings. He was wrong.
His outburst has already cost him his job, and if he is convicted he faces hefty fines and a possible six month prison sentence.