The French fashion house Christian Dior fired John Galliano on Tuesday after a video clip of him making anti-Semitic hate speech went viral.
Galliano was filmed launching into a racist rant during which he declared: "I love Hitler," Galliano drunkenly told a cafe patron. "People like you would be dead. Your mothers, your forefathers, would all be f** gassed."
Galliano’s dismissal comes on the first day of Paris Fashion Week, and three days before his Dior show is to premiere.
"I very firmly condemn what was said by John Galliano, which totally contradicts the values which have always been defended by Christian Dior," Sidney Toledano, Dior’s Chief Executive, said in a statement. The New York Times is reporting that the company "immediately suspended relations" with Galliano because of his "particularly odious comments."
Actress Natalie Portman, who won an academy award on Sunday and has a fragrance endorsement contract with Dior, has also made a statement distancing herself from Galliano.
"I am deeply shocked and disgusted by the video of John Galliano’s comments that surfaced today. In light of this video, and as an individual who is proud to be Jewish, I will not be associated with Mr. Galliano in any way. I hope at the very least, these terrible comments remind us to reflect and act upon combating these still-existing prejudices that are the opposite of all that is beautiful."
Paris prosecutors are expected to decide by the end of the week whether Galliano will face trial over Thursday’s incident in the trendy Marais neighborhood of Paris.