A Galliano dress caused uproar when Israel's broadcasting authority banned the designer assisting a contestant for the Eurovision song competition. Although John Galliano was banned on the basis of a drunken anti-Semitic rant two years ago, the celebrity designer also said that he never offered to make any dress.
The uproar surrounding Galliano's assistance with the dress was started by singer Moran Mazor, who is competing in the Eurovision contest. She claimed that she sought several prominent designers to make her dress, and that he had willfully accepted.
The move prompted an immediate reaction from Israel Broadcast Authority executive Yoav Ginai, who said that Mazor would not be allowed to wear a Gallino dress "under any circumstance." His reasoning came from an incident two years ago in which the designer made anti-Semitic comments in public- the tirade was caught on tape.
"I have no doubt that you, too, as an Israeli and a Jew, understand that such a 'glorious resume,' especially at a time of racism and anti-Semitism across Europe, denies this man any right to dress or work with a representative of Israel for the Eurovision, even if he has 'apologized,'" Ginai wrote.
"I love Hitler," Galliano concluded after slurring other racist epithets while at a café in Paris. The rant cost him dearly, as he was fired from Christian Dior and convicted of anti-Semitic comments by a French court.
The uproar and subsequent ban may have been unnecessary, however: Galliano's publicist Liz Rosenberg said that the designer never agreed to make any dress. She denied that any "official correspondence" had occurred between the two parties.
"That was reconfirmed to me moments ago by John himself," she said in an email to the Associated Press.
The response to Galliano from the Jewish community isn't wholly negative anymore, though. Abraham Foxman, the national director of the Anti-Defamation League, defended the designer, who admitted he was an alcoholic and apologized for his actions after the incident. Since then, Galliano has made strides to repair his reputation with the Jewish community.
"I believe that if we want people to change their minds and hearts, you've got to accept when they say they are sorry," Foxman said.
Rosenberg confirmed Galliano's sobriety since the incident, and his attempt to make amends.
"Mr. Galliano has been working diligently these last two years on his sobriety, making amends and seeking forgiveness from the Jewish community and the people he offended," she said. "I appreciate that there are people who may never forgive him but hope that his actions as he moves forward inspire people to give him another chance."