John Galliano, designer for Christian Dior and a rock star of the fashion world, received a suspended fine and zero jail time for shouting “I love Hitler” and other anti-Semitic remarks at a Paris bar last October. It was reported he said to a woman patron, “Dirty Jewish face, you should be dead.” The Vichy government would have been proud. Topping off the court’s miscarriage, it threw a lollipop to the plaintiffs: a single Euro for their troubles.
The issue isn’t another anti-Semitic celeb foaming at the mouth; the breed can be traced back to when high fashion was a nicely-crafted toga. It’s the perverted, elastic defense for Jew Hate his lawyers trotted out: drug and alcohol abuse. Then pop your client into rehab until the coast is clear. And protest that the client is most definitely not an anti-Semite. Funny, when do we ever hear about Galliano, Gibson and all the other cowards who blame modern chemistry for their venom praising Idi Amin, Pinochet or Milosevic at the local pub?
Galliano’s lawyer said his client was punished enough because he lost his job. Sure. Want to bet he’ll be sketching for the stars again soon? His clients wouldn’t let a little thing like Jew hate stand between them and the perfect gown. Didn’t before.
Let’s just hope that this French version of mock justice isn’t made worse by a Gibson redux: a rabbi or two rushing to Galliano’s side, offering him enlightenment. As though he didn’t know.
West Hartford and Delray Beach, Fla.