Fashion

04.12.13

Israel Broadcasting Authority Reportedly Bans Eurovision Contestant from Wearing Galliano

Disgraced designer John Galliano has been slowly mounting a comeback -- but the Israel Broadcasting Authority will have none of it.

Update: John Galliano’s publicist Liz Rosenberg told the Associated Press that there had never been any “official correspondence” between Moran Mazor’s wardrobe stylist and Galliano. “That was reconfirmed to me moments ago by John himself,” she told the news organization via email. Rosenberg also communicated Galliano’s appreciation of the ADL’s “support.”

Israel’s participant in the international Eurovision music competition has been barred from wearing a dress by John Galliano.

While Oscar de la Renta may have accepted John Galliano’s public apology for his anti-Semitic remarks (which had him removed from the helm of his own namesake label as well as Christian Dior, and stripped of his Légion d’Honneur), it seems the Israel Broadcasting Authority has not. 

In a recent interview with Israeli news site Mako, Moran Mazor, Israel’s Eurovision competitor, revealed that Galliano had agreed to create a custom design for her appearance in the contest. However, according to a memo obtained by Israeli newspaper Haaretz, the IBA (which broadcasts and sponsors Israel’s participation in the contest) wrote to Mazor’s agent at Liam Productions, telling them to “drop the arrangement with Galliano.”

According to The Cut, the memo (written by the IBA’s Yoav Ginai) says: “at a time when racism and anti-Semitism are rampant throughout Europe, it’s unacceptable to let Galliano clothe a Eurovision representative, even if he’s apologized for his past actions.”

"The Israel Broadcasting Authority must realize that this is a changed man...to continue to boycott him is not constructive.”

The situation is a setback for Galliano, who has been mounting a comeback in the last few months. Earlier this year, the designer spent three weeks as an apprentice and co-conspirator at Oscar de la Renta’s studio to help the brand prepare for its fall 2013 fashion show. And in February a French judge agreed to hear Galliano’s case against former employer Christian Dior Couture, which contests the grounds of his dismissal.

An additional roadblock came a day after the de la Renta show, when the New York Post called Galliano a “Schmuck” for allegedly “mocking” Hassidic Jews by wearing a large black hat, long coat, and his hair in ‘peyos’. At the time, the Anti-Defamation League came to his defense in a statement saying “The New York Post story is a ridiculous absurd distortion…This is John Galliano being John Galliano. His dress is always eccentric and his hair is always worn long."

Now the organization’s national director, Abaraham H. Foxman, has spoken out in Galliano’s favor again, releasing a statement to the press about the IBA’s wardrobe provisionary. “Mr. Galliano has continued to work hard not only in changing his worldview, but in establishing relationships," that statement says. "It is great to see that he is now involved with Israeli artists. The Israel Broadcasting Authority must realize that this is a changed man—he has consistently shown us that he is taking steps to understand and grow from his mistakes and at this point, to continue to boycott him is not constructive.”

Video screenshot

Mazor performs "Rak Bishvilo", which she'll also sing at the Eurovision finals in Sweden next month.