Singer Katy Perry courted controversy on May 1 by wearing an ensemble designed by John Galliano to the Met Gala in New York City.
British fashion designer Galliano developed a reputation as an anti-Semite following remarks made at a Paris bistro in December 2011, as reported by the Independent at the time.
A cellphone video posted online captured him making some of his anti-Semitic remarks.
In one scene, a woman asked: "Are you blond, with blue eyes?" To which Galliano replied: "No, but I love Hitler, and people like you would be dead today. Your mothers, your forefathers, would be f***ing gassed and... dead."
The resulting uproar led to his dismissal as creative director at Christian Dior, notes The Washington Post. Galliano spent his next two years apologizing and going through rehab for the alcoholism he alleged prompted his racist outburst.
His efforts paid off, because the Anti-Defamation League, whose stated mission is "to stop the defamation of the Jewish people, and to secure justice and fair treatment to all," issued a public forgiveness of Galliano in January 2013.
ADL National Director Abraham H. Foxman released a statement:
We believe that individuals can change their hearts and minds as long as they demonstrate true contrition. Mr. Galliano has worked arduously in changing his worldview and dedicated a significant amount of time to researching, reading, and learning about the evils of anti-Semitism and bigotry. Along his journey to recovery he met with us on numerous occasions. He has accepted full responsibility for his previous remarks and understands that hurtful comments have no place in our society. We wish him much success and look forward to working with him again in the near future as a spokesman against anti-Semitism, intolerance and bigotry.
Soon after, Galliano was back in business, working for Maison Margiela, the Paris fashion house he represented at the 2017 Met Gala.
Hailed by Vogue magazine as "fashion's biggest night out," the gala is a fundraising benefit for New York City's Metropolitan Museum of Art. Tickets for the 2017 gala are $30,000, and tables cost around $275,000, notes The New York Times.
Vogue editor Anna Wintour, the Met Gala's chairwoman, has been a longtime supporter of Galliano, and it is likely her influence that led to his gown being featured at the event, the Independent notes.
But many social media users were not impressed with Perry's choice of designer.
"So Katy Perry decided it was a good idea to wear clothing from anti-semite?" wrote one user. "Classy."