ADL Praises Christian Dior for Dismissing Chief Designer Over Anti-Semitic Remarks

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.

ADL is the world’s leading anti-hate organization. Founded in 1913 in response to an escalating climate of anti-Semitism and bigotry, its timeless mission is to protect the Jewish people and to secure justice and fair treatment for all. Today, ADL continues to fight all forms of hate with the same vigor and passion. A global leader in exposing extremism, delivering anti-bias education, and fighting hate online, ADL is the first call when acts of anti-Semitism occur. ADL’s ultimate goal is a world in which no group or individual suffers from bias, discrimination or hate.