Was Racist Rant Behind Natalie Portman’s Decision to Not Wear Dior at Oscars?

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Academy Award winner Natalie Portman, who was recently named the face of Miss Dior Cherie, has publicly condemned Dior’s head designer, John Galliano after a video leaked online of the eccentric British designer making anti-Semitic and racist comments to a group of women (he was subsequently fired in light of the video).

Could this be the reason that Natalie backed out of wearing Dior for the Oscars?

Many fashion insiders were sure that Natalie would be wearing a gown by Dior since she is currently under a beauty contract with the fashion label. Such fashion arrangements are the norm in Hollywood: Charlize Theron, the face of Dior’s J’adore perfume, wore a Christian Dior gown to the 2010 Academy Awards and James Franco, the face of Gucci’s colognes, wore Gucci all through the 2011 Oscars. However, Galliano’s anti-Semitic comments may have turned off Natalie (who is Jewish) from wearing the label’s clothes to Hollywood’s biggest night.

“I am deeply shocked and disgusted by the video of John Galliano’s comments that surfaced today,” Natalie said in a statement on Monday.

“In light of this video, and as an individual who is proud to be Jewish, I will not be associated with Mr Galliano in any way. I hope at the very least, these terrible comments remind us to reflect and act upon combating these still-existing prejudices that are the opposite of all that is beautiful.”

John Galliano was arrested in Paris on Thursday for allegedly assaulting and making anti-Semitic remarks towards a group of women. Dior suspended Galliano on Friday, saying in a statement that the company has a “zero tolerance policy towards anti-Semitic or racist words or behavior.”

Galliano claims that he is innocent and even launched legal action against the two women who claimed that he made anti-Semitic remarks. However, on Monday, a video of a visibly drunk Galliano making the hateful comments was released by UK’s The Sun.

“I love Hitler,” Galliano tells one of the women after she asks him if he is blonde. “People like you would be dead. Your mothers, your forefathers, would all be f****** gassed and f****** dead.” (Click here to watch the video.)

It isn’t clear if this video is of the same rant that landed Galliano in legal trouble in Paris. (Apparently Galliano has more than one Nazi rant in his past!) If the video is of a separate incident then it is less likely that Natalie ditched Dior before the Oscars since the video wasn’t released until Monday. However, Natalie could have felt that the allegations of anti-Semitism against Galliano were reason enough to skip out on wearing Dior to the Academy Awards.

Watch Natalie’s Miss Dior Cherie commercial (which played heavily during E! Live From the Red Carpet on Oscar night) below.

At Sunday night’s Oscars, Natalie Portman wore a purple gown by Rodarte, a fashion label that she has long supported. Kate and Laura Mulleavy, the women behind Rodarte, designed some of the ballerina costumes for Black Swan. Natalie did not wear Dior to any of the events she attended as part of awards season.

There is no word on the state of Natalie’s beauty contract with Dior.

What do you think of Natalie’s statements about Galliano? Share your thoughts in the comments.