Update: On March 2, Galliano issued a statement accepting responsibility and apologizing for his anti-Semitic remarks. More
New York, NY, March 1, 2011 … The Anti-Defamation League (ADL) today praised the French fashion house Christian Dior for first suspending, then initiating dismissal procedures against its chief designer John Galliano in the aftermath of his anti-Semitic outburst at a Paris bar.
In a video, Galliano is shown taunting patrons and declaring that "I love Hitler" and that "people like you would be dead," and "your mothers, your forefathers" would all be "gassed." In a statement, Sidney Toledano, chief executive of Dior Couture, condemned the designer's words "in the strongest terms" and indicated that Galliano would face dismissal for the remarks.
Abraham H. Foxman, ADL National Director and a Holocaust survivor, issued the following statement:
We salute and welcome Christian Dior's decision to dismiss John Galliano. Their swift and courageous action sends 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 fact that someone is brilliant in a certain field does not immunize him from facing the consequences of words that are hateful, bigoted or prejudiced. Galliano is a public figure with a high profile, but he is apparently also a serial bigot. That he has made remarks like this before does not minimize the pain his latest words have caused around the world, particularly among Holocaust survivors and their families.