You may have thought to compare John Galliano's anti-Semetic remarks — those caught on camera and those that have just been alleged — to any number of celebrities' falls from grace. But few in fashion will come out and say so, actually name those scandalized names — a number of the industry's most high-profile people are trying to find excuses for Galliano's inexcusable statements. The New Yorker's Michael Specter, who profiled Galliano in 2003, comes out with it:
[W]hen I see people expressing shock and outrage at what he said, I have to contain a little bit of my own shock and outrage. Galliano’s act of self destruction was about as shocking as the widespread discovery, also this week, that Charlie Sheen is a vulgar fool.
Specter writes that it's even too soon to say if Galliano's career is totally destroyed, wisely noting that "the fashion world has a remarkable ability to shrug off the odd deeply flawed human being, as long as he or she can cut a dress like Galliano can or wear one like Kate Moss, who, despite behavior that sets a disastrous example for millions of girls, including issues with drugs, is forgiven because, well, she is really very pretty."
If there is a shred of an excuse for Galliano, Specter suggests, it may be that he was allowed to act the way he acted — until he wasn't.
Even Galliano’s drug abuse was seen by many of the most prominent people in fashion as an adorable foible, like wearing a monocle or writing with a fountain pen. “Oh, that’s just John,” one of France’s better known fashion people once told me. “Obsessive indulgence is his thing.”
Yes, it was. He deserves all the blame and ignominy that befalls him. But let’s watch the self-righteous indignation and reserve a little anger for the enablers. Because when it comes to people like John Galliano, there are way too many of them to count.
JOHN GALLIANO’S IMPLOSION [NYer]