Designer John Galliano loses French title over anti-Semitic tirades


(JTA) — Fashion designer John Galliano reportedly was stripped of his Legion of Honor medal because of anti-Semitic behavior.

The newspaper Le Point, among other French media, reported that a decree by French President Francois Hollande published last week on France’s official journal said Galliano, 51, may no longer wear the medal — France’s highest honor — which he received in 2009.

Last year Galliano, a British citizen, lost his job as design director at Christian Dior after he was filmed making anti-Semitic statements.

A French court later ruled he had made "public insults based on origin, religious affiliation, race or ethnicity" in several incidents.

In one incident, Galliano at a Paris bar stated his love for Adolf Hitler and told people he believed were Jewish that their mothers should have been gassed. He blamed his outbursts on addictions to drugs and alcohol.

Moshe Kantor, president of the European Jewish Congress, told JTA that the decision to strip Galliano of the title was "appropriate and just." 

"These types of medals should be more than just about talent in a particular sphere, and should also reflect a person’s contribution to society and their personal character," said Kantor, who received the French medal earlier this year. "Galliano showed in his outbursts that his views are divisive and hateful."

The text of the decree was not immediately available.

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