John Galliano leaves bitter taste after anti-Semitic remarks; apologises but faces jail

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“It’s an insolence that is unforgiving”. These were the words used to describe not only the most recent controversial video to go viral, but one that has shaken the fashion world, if not only that of designer John Galliano. After rumoured accusations of hurling anti-Semitic slurs in a drunken rant at individuals in a brasserie in Paris’ flamboyant Marais district, video evidence of the incident is the final nail in the coffin that was his career.

One would think to hold back on spouting such comments as “I love Hitler, and people like you would be dead today; your mothers, your forefathers, would be f***ing gassed and f***ing dead”, particularly if your boss – Dior CEO Sidney Toledano – happens to be Jewish. Oddly enough, none of the recipients of the remarks were actually Jewish.

Galliano has since been professionally terminated from the house of Dior, with insiders whispering that the label has been searching for a scapegoat, and that this is the timely way out.

Jewish/Australian actress Natalie Portman – who is the face of the new Miss Dior ‘Cherie’ fragrance line – said, “In light of this video and as an individual who is proud to be Jewish, I will not be associated with Mr Galliano in any way. I hope at the very least, these terrible comments remind us to reflect and act upon combating still-existing prejudices that are the opposite of all that is beautiful.”

Galliano himself said, via his British lawyers, “Anti-Semitism and racism have no part in our society; I unreservedly apologise for my behaviour in causing any offense.”

Because racial abuse is a crime in France, the designer has been asked by Paris prosecutors to stand trial which could see him facing up to six months in prison and about $30,000 in fines if convicted. That’s quite some punishment for a minute of bitchy insults caught on tape, and the question might well be asked: is Judaism a race or a religion and do similar French laws apply to religious bigotry?

Naturally, the scandal has sent shockwaves through the aisles of Paris Fashion Week with many fearing the possible overshadowing of the provocateur’s legacy.

But who said legacies were only meant to be shiny and bright?

Things aren’t looking so cherry-red for ex-Dior designer, John Galliano, whose signature pieces feature above by illustrator Richard Gray.