Dior Designer Makes Offensive Comments

The Story

Dior fashion designer John Galliano is caught on video  saying "I love Hitler," among other offensive comments, during a drunken tirade. The company reacted quickly, terminating Galliano and issuing a statement. Watch the news report, below.

Video source.

Discussion Starters

  • Did Dior do the right thing by firing Galliano? Why or why not? 
  • What are the potential consequences to actors, such as Nicole Kidman, who wore Dior at The Academy Awards?
  • What is your reaction to people who defend Galliano's comments, for example, the writer who posted, "If you are breaker of taboos, then antisemitism is only another taboo, no different from any other. It's the saying of the unsayable. It has become the last frontier for those demanding freedom of speech, for whom everything, even the Holocaust, is fair game."

Assignment Ideas

  • Write a memo to your instructor explaining why you consider Galliano's comments inappropriate according to principles of intercultural communication.
  • Assess Dior President Sidney Toledano's statement: "The House of Dior declares with the greatest firmness its policy of zero-tolerance regarding any anti-Semitic or racist statement or attitude." Write a brief assessment of the statement, write your own version, and explain why yours is better.