Update April 15, 3:30pm: A rep for John Galliano tells the AP Galliano never actually offered to make the dress and that there has been no “official correspondence” between the singer’s stylist and Galliano. The rep did, however, appreciate Anti-Defamation League’s national director Abraham H. Foxman’s support. “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.”
Mazor’s stylist, Gili Algabi said he was in talks with assistants of Galliano’s, but not Galliano himself. “We will be honored to take the stage with a Galliano piece of clothing,” he said. “We don’t have a reason to lie about this.”
Things have been going pretty well for John Galliano lately: The Anti-Defamation League formally forgave him; he landed a residency at Oscar de la Renta’s studio; he might have a teaching gig lined up at a prestigious design school; and much of the fashion industry, including Anna Wintour, seems ready to welcome him back.
However, the Israel Broadcasting Authority is not ready to excuse Galliano’s past transgressions. They’ve banned Moran Mazor, the Israeli entrant in next month’s Eurovision Song Contest, from wearing a dress by the designer on air, according to a report in the Jewish Telegraphic Agency (which The Cut unearthed).
It seems that Mazor’s stylist had asked John Galliano, as well as some other designers, to make a dress for Mazor to perform in, and Galliano agreed. However, a rep from the Israel Broadcasting Authority sent her agent a memo prohibiting them from working with the designer. It said that Galliano’s actions “preclude” him “from dressing the Israeli Eurovision representative, at a time when racism and anti-Semitism is rampant in Europe, even if he had apologized.”
Eurovision, in which active member countries of the European Broadcasting Union submit a song to be performed live on TV and radio and then be voted on, is one of the most watched non-sporting events in the world; and Mazor has been described as the “ethnic Adele,” which we’re assuming means she’s good and people like her. For a celebrated Israeli to wear Galliano on such a wide-reaching platform would have been a major statement and been a boon to Galliano’s career.
Anti-Defamation League’s national director Abraham H. Foxman didn’t quite agree with the IBA’s decision. He said in a statement to Haaretz that he is “outraged and embarrassed that an entity representing Israel would reject Mr. Galliano,” adding that “This is not the lesson that you give your children. Rejecting someone who gave a sincere apology is not Jewish tradition. We are a people that forgive and this is not the way to overcome bigotry.”