They Were Canceled. Should He Have Helped Them Come Back? – The New York Times

Posted By on June 20, 2020

A few months later, Mr. Galliano, who had already been fired as the creative director of Christian Dior, was tried for the attack in a Paris court; during the trial a video of a different incident, also at a bar, revealed him proclaiming, I love Hitler.

At some point during all this, Mr. Foxman received a call from Jonathan Newhouse, who then led Cond Nast International. He asked if Mr. Foxman would be willing to sit down with the designer.

Mr. Foxman understood that what he had done had come from a place of addiction. During the trial (which resulted in a conviction for racist and anti-Semitic abuses and the imposition of various fines), Mr. Galliano spoke about his Valium problem and the enormous pressures brought to his work by the financial crisis pressures that had left him unable to grieve when his father and two others close to him died in quick succession.

Mr. Foxman wanted him to ask why he was striking out at Jews and not banks. Mr. Galliano was receptive, and Mr. Foxman set him on a path. The designer studied with a rabbi in London. He visited Auschwitz. During a talk at a synagogue, his rabbi by his side, Mr. Galliano, who had long since completed drug rehabilitation, said that he made a daily habit of speaking to God.

Convinced of his sincerity, Mr. Foxman then called around to certain stores asking them if they would carry whatever he produced. Some refused. A fashion school in Israel where Mr. Galliano offered to teach for free declined to have him. But in 2014, Mr. Galliano found work again, as the creative director at Maison Margiela; his contract was renewed last year.

On another occasion, in response to a call from Cardinal Timothy M. Dolan, Mr. Foxman tried to come to the aid of Ronan Tynan, an Irish immigrant, tenor and amputee who had become well-known in New York in the early 2000s for singing The Star Spangled Banner at Yankees games. The trouble occurred 11 years ago when Mr. Tynan bumped into a real estate agent showing an apartment in his Manhattan building. The agent told Mr. Tynan not to worry her client was not a Red Sox fan. Mr. Tynan replied, As long as they are not the Jewish ladies.

When that line went public, he claimed his joke had been misconstrued. Nonetheless, he was besieged with hate mail. One note came from a surgeon who said he would let him die on his operating table if he had a chance.

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They Were Canceled. Should He Have Helped Them Come Back? - The New York Times

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