John Galliano -- the top designer at Christian Dior -- may have earned himself a place in the unemployment line (pending investigation) when he became the latest celebrity to go off on an anti-Semitic or sexist rant. Memo to those in the public eye: If you want to keep your job, try not to seem like a giant bigot. Easy enough, right? Not for these clowns.
For those keeping track, we have Helen Thomas, who told the Jews to get the hell out of Palestine and lost her job at the White House. Juan Williams, an NPR commentator, lost his job after remarking that he is afraid to get on planes with Muslims. ESPN commentator Ron Franklin lost his job for referring to a colleague as "sweet baby."
This is just the tip of the iceberg, too. What is it with these losers?
According to the Daily Beast, Galliano allegedly said that one woman had a "dirty Jewish face, you should be dead" and called her a “whore” and “ugly." Her friend was called a “f*cking Asian bastard." Galliano denies the statements, but his employer believed it enough to suspend him, citing a zero-tolerance policy toward anti-Semitic remarks or behavior in a statement. They will make a final decision when they have the results of the police inquiry.
In some cases, job loss is inevitable and correct. NYU Journalist Nir Rosen, for instance, tweeted himself right out of a job when he said how "hilarious" Lara Logan's sexual assault was and how "she was probably groped like thousands of other women." Good riddance to bad rubbish in the case of Rosen who was always a fire starter, but there are some jokes that just aren't funny. It showed a frightening lack of understanding about sexual assault and that isn't the kind of person who should be working. It's not about being politically correct with comments like Rosen's. What he said showed a complete lack of objectivity, which is generally important as a journalist.
The same argument could be made for Helen Thomas, whose comments about the Jews and Palestine were not only politically incorrect, they were also anti-Semitic and showed a stunning lack of understanding about world history. There was nowhere for the Jews to "go back" to, lady! To her, we say, buh-bye.
On the other hand, Mel Gibson, whose many racist and sexist rants have become infamous, and of course, the latest bit from Charlie Sheen, who called his boss Chuck Lorre "Haim Levine," a reference to his real, very Jewish name, both are walking a finer line. Both clearly have problems that far outweigh simply being anti-Semites. Yes, they shouldn't work until they get help, but crazy is far worse than just anti-Semitic.
Most jobs have a zero-tolerance policy toward racism, anti-Semitism, and sexism for good reason. If you're too uneducated or ignorant to avoid making comments like that in public, then you probably don't do your job very well. Bigotry is a bias that removes objectivity. Do we honestly think anything that Helen Thomas wrote was unbiased or fair to Israel after her rant? In John Galliano's case, being an anti-Semite or having an anti-Asian bias probably doesn't affect how he designs clothing. On the other hand, he has to work with the public, and a fashion designer of his caliber has to have a wide world view. His comments make it clear that he doesn't.
If you think it's normal to call someone an ugly Jew or Asian bastard, then it's highly likely that you aren't in control enough to do your job. Dior did the right thing suspending him, and hopefully, if he is proven guilty, they will follow through with a firing.
Do you think people should be fired for being racist?
Image via xmichh/Flickr