John Galliano, the superstar fashion designer who has faced allegations of anti-Semitism, has been dumped from a planned teaching job at a New York fashion school after a protest spearheaded by Jewish students.
Jen Kaplan, a representative of the Jewish Students Union at Parsons The New School For Design, said an anti-Galliano petition that drew 2,000 signatures forced the school to back out of the planned class.
“I hope that students learn that we do have a very important voice at this university,” Kaplan wrote in an email to classmates. “If we organize against something we can make a difference in our community.
Deborah Kirschner, a spokeswoman for the school, confirmed the cancellation in a statement.
“We could not reach consensus with Mr. Galliano on the conditions of this conversation,” Kirschner said. “The program could not move forward.”
Galliano, who was fired by Dior in 2011 after he was caught on camera making anti-Semitic remarks in a Paris cafe, was supposed to teach a three-day seminar titled “Show Me Emotion” at Parsons The New School For Design.
Parsons had said the class “will be a dynamic and intimate opportunity for our students to learn from an immensely talented designer.”
But the plans were quickly met by protests, led by Jewish students. A petition quickly gained support on the Manhattan campus.
“We do not want money from our tuition going to this kind of person. We feel like we’ve been slapped in the face by our school. There should be no room for this kind of person as a staff member on the faculty at Parsons,” the petition statement reads.
Earlier this year, the 52-year-old British designer, widely thought of as one of the most talented and creative names in fashion, spent several weeks working at Oscar de la Renta’s studio in New York, preparing for de la Renta’s New York Fashion Week show in February.
A French court handed out a $8,000 suspended fine to Galliano in 2011 after he was found guilty of anti-Semitic behavior. Galliano has said an addiction to drugs and alcohol had left him out of control and he was determined to make amends.