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Jewish Journal

Does Designer John Galliano Love Hitler When He’s Drunk ?  Who Cares?

by Ilana Angel

March 2, 2011 | 11:24 am

John Galliano

John Galliano, who is the head designer for the House of Dior, got drunk and said he loved Hitler.  It was captured on video by a cell phone, at a bar in Paris.  From what I can gather, he was out drinking, raised his glass and said cheers to the other patrons, someone thought he was a homeless guy, started to berate him, he got pissed off, they got into it, he said he loved Hitler.  As a result, he was fired from his job.

I’m a Jew, frightened by anti-Semitism, fearful for the future of Jews, and the hate my child may face because of his faith, but that said, who cares?  If Galliano thinks that as an openly homosexual man, who is flamboyant and living his gay life out loud, he would be friends with Hitler, he needs to be in a mental hospital because his friend Adolf would have him marching to the gas chamber with all the Jews.

Everyone is losing their minds because of his comments but let’s get real for a minute.  Are we not panicking and making the situation worse?  Sharon Stone and Nicole Kidman wore Dior to the Oscars, AFTER the video came out, so are they Hitler supporters?  Is every person who ever makes a joke about Jews an anti-Semite?  Where do we draw the line between an unfortunate slur and hatred of the Jewish people?

Galliano released the follwoing statement:

“Since the events of last Thursday evening I have not been able to make any public comment on what took place based upon advice from my French lawyer. However, given the continuing delays at the French Prosecutor’s Office I should make my position clear.

I completely deny the claims made against me and have fully co-operated with the police investigation.

A number of independent witnesses have given evidence and have told the police that I was subjected to verbal harassment and an unprovoked assault when an individual tried to hit me with a chair having taken violent exception to my look and my clothing. For these reasons I have commenced proceedings for defamation and the threats made against me.

However, I fully accept that the accusations made against me have greatly shocked and upset people.

I must take responsibility for the circumstances in which I found myself and for allowing myself to be seen to be behaving in the worst possible light.

I only have myself to blame and I know that I must face up to my own failures and that I must work hard to gain people’s understanding and compassion. To start this process I am seeking help and all I can hope for in time is to address the personal failure, which led to these circumstances and try and earn people’s forgiveness.

I have fought my entire life against prejudice, intolerance and discrimination, having been subjected to it myself. In all my work my inspiration has been to unite people of every race, creed, religion and sexuality by celebrating their cultural and ethnic diversity through fashion. That remains my guiding light.

Anti-Semitism and racism have no part in our society. I unreservedly apologize for my behavior in causing any offense.”

I don’t think John Galliano hates Jewish people, and I’d bet money that he does not love Hitler.  It’s an unfortunate statement, and everyone jumped on it without taking a moment to look at the bigger picture.  He is a genius, he got drunk, felt threatened, and made a huge mistake.  Should he be publically humiliated and lose his job over it?  I just don’t think so.  I feel bad for him.  He’s a schmuck, but the reaction to the video is over the top.

There are a lot of people who openly hate the Jewish people and wish us harm.  It would be better if our outcries where targeted to those people, instead of a 50 year old gay man, who clearly has a drinking problem, and has never before, in his long and illustrious career, had an anti-Semitic moment.  Mel Gibson hates Jews.  John Galliano does not.  The difference is quite clear and saying they are the same is not fair and simply stupid.

I wish Mr. Galliano health and peace as he works through this difficult time.  I accept his apology and hope he gets his job back.  As a Jew I am a little embarrassed as how quickly my “people” jump on the hate bandwagon.  Sometimes a mistake is a mistake, and not anything bigger.  Take a deep breath, show some compassion, allow forgiveness, and keep the faith.

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