Natalie Portman Condemns Dior Designer; Company Fires Him (update)

Oscars official prevented best actress winner from discussing just-fired designer's remarks

Natalie Portman condemned chief Dior designer John Galliano a day after an Oscars official prevented the best actress winner from discussing accusations that Galliano made anti-Semitic comments.

Portman's statement was followed Tuesday morning by Dior saying it had "initiated dismissal procedures” to fire Galliano, the New York Times reported.

“I am deeply shocked and disgusted by the video of John Galliano’s comments that surfaced today," Portman, who has an endorsement deal for the Miss Dior Cherie fragrance, said in a statement, according to the Times. "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.”

A French couple has accused Galliano of making anti-Semitic comments in France, where doing so is illegal. Meanwhile a video posted on the web site of the British tabloid The Sun shows a drunk-looking Galliano taunting patrons in a bar, and saying, “People like you would be dead,” and that “your mothers, your forefathers” would all be “gassed.” He added, “I love Hitler."  It was unclear when the video was recorded.

A reporter tried to ask Portman about the situation at Sunday's ceremony, but an Oscars official interrupted, saying, "We're just going to move on."

The question did not turn up on the Academy's transcript of questions. Leslie Unger, the Academy's communications director, told TheWrap that "since the question was not being answered, the question wouldn't be included in the transcript."

The question to Portman was the only unanswered question backstage during Sunday's Oscars.