Who is John Galliano?
John Galliano, born John Charles Galliano is a British fashion designer who was the head designer of the French fashion companies Givenchy, Christian Dior and his own label John Galliano. He began working for Givenchy in July of 1995 and was the first British designer to head a French haute couture house. Less than two years later on October 14th 1996, Galliano moved from Givenchy to Christian Dior. And that’s where it all happened.
The Anti-Semitic Incident
On February 25, 2011, Dior announced that it was suspending John Galliano following his arrest over an alleged anti-Semitic tirade in a Paris bar. The same day, Paris-based citizen journalism site Citizenside, received video of Galliano on a similar rant in the same bar the previous December. In the video, Galliano, drunk and intoxicated, is seated at a table and insults a group of Italian women and declares “I love Hitler. . .People like you would be dead. Your mothers, your forefathers would all be fucking gassed.”
This incident happened right before the Paris Fashion Week for Autumn/Winter 2011-2012.
The video of Galliano’s Anti-Semitic comments was licensed to a British tabloid newspaper ‘The Sun’, which published the video on its website. After his comments he was impersonated on SNL (Saturday Night Live) by Taran Killam.
In the beginning of March, 2011 it was announced that John Galliano was to face trial in Paris for allegedly “making racist comments to customers in a café.” He had apologized for his behavior while Dior described the comments in the video as “odious”.
The trial of John Galliano and rehabilitation
According to the Financial Times, “If found guilty, John Galliano could face up to six months in prison, and a fine of 31,000 dollars.” The Daily Telegraph then reported that John Galliano left France and would be attending a rehabilitation facility for drugs and alcohol, The Meadows in Arizona.” A Paris court ordered that he stand trial on charges of “public insults based on the origin, religious affiliation, race or ethnicity” against three people. The trial commenced on 22 June 2011.
During the trial Galliano testified he didn’t even recognize the person he saw on the video.
“I’m apologizing because that man you see up there is not John Galliano. I have no recollection of these events,” he said. “I read about them afterwards.”
Galliano maintained that no racist or anti-Semitic thought has ever crossed his right mind, and said that he himself was a victim of prejudice for being gay.
On September 8th, 2011, he was found guilty of making anti-Semitic remarks. John Galliano has been sentenced to pay a total of 8,400 dollars in suspended fines after a French court found him guilty of giving public insults on account of race.
The comments by John Galliano afterwards
John Galliano told Vanity Fair magazine that he is not a racist and blamed his actions on his alcohol addiction. He said he went to treatment at an Arizona rehab and has been sober for two years now.
“It’s the worst thing I have said in my life, but I didn’t mean it,” he told the magazine of the anti-Semitic insults he expressed in 2010 and 2011. “I have been trying to find out why that anger was directed at this race. I now realize I was so… angry and so discontent[ed] with myself that I just said the most spiteful thing I could.”
Ever since John Galliano, now 52, made these remarks regardless of whether or not his alcohol addiction was to blame, he has been shunned by the fashion world. He was eventually fired from Dior and has been keeping a low profile. However, has been working on creating Kate Moss’ wedding dress, and collaborating with the designer Oscar de la Renta.
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