Open letter criticizing Jonathan Glazer’s Oscars speech gains signatures

Several hundred Jewish Hollywood creatives have reportedly signed an open letter condemning filmmaker Jonathan Glazer’s acceptance speech at the 96th Academy Awards.

The letter, shared with trade publications on Monday, criticized how Glazer addressed the Israel-Gaza conflict after his film “The Zone of Interest” won the Oscar for best international feature film.

“Our film shows where dehumanization leads, at its worst. It shaped all of our past and present,” said Glazer, who is Jewish, in his acceptance speech. “Right now we stand here as men who refute their Jewishness and the Holocaust being hijacked by an occupation, which has led to conflict for so many innocent people.”

He added: “Whether the victims of October the 7th in Israel or the ongoing attack on Gaza, all the victims of this dehumanization, how do we resist?”

Glazer’s words sparked outrage within Hollywood, with many Jewish creatives denouncing his speech in the open letter. Although The Washington Post did not obtain a copy of the letter, both the Times of Israel and Variety shared a version of the document online, as well as a sign-up form.

“We refute our Jewishness being hijacked for the purpose of drawing a moral equivalence between a Nazi regime that sought to exterminate a race of people, and an Israeli nation that seeks to avert its own extermination,” the letter reads.

It adds: “[The speech] gives credence to the modern blood libel that fuels a growing anti-Jewish hatred around the world, in the United States, and in Hollywood. The current climate of growing antisemitism only underscores the need for the Jewish State of Israel, a place which will always take us in, as no state did during the Holocaust depicted in Mr. Glazer’s film.”

The letter published with 450 signatures on Monday, according to the Hollywood Reporter, and gained an additional 500-plus signees by Tuesday morning. It’s unclear who created the letter, though Variety has shared a list of alleged signatories, which includes star Debra Messing and director Eli Roth.

Representatives for Glazer did not respond to a request for comment.

The open letter is the latest piece of backlash against Glazer’s speech. In the immediate aftermath on Oscar night, social media users took aim at Glazer’s words, misinterpreting his statement as refuting Jewishness itself, rather than the hijacking of Jewishness. Holocaust Survivors Foundation President David Schaecter condemned the speech shortly after the Oscars, too.

“Worse is that you chose to use the Holocaust to validate your personal opinion,” Schaecter wrote. “You made a Holocaust movie and won an Oscar. And you are Jewish. Good for you. But it is disgraceful for you to presume to speak for the six million Jews, including one and a half million children, who were murdered solely because of their Jewish identity.”

Glazer’s speech wasn’t the only moment from the Oscars that touched on the Israel-Gaza war. A number of attendees, including Billie Eilish, Mark Ruffalo and Ramy Youssef, wore red pins in support of a cease-fire in Gaza. As the show began, pro-Palestinian protesters clogged traffic near the ceremony at the Dolby Theatre.


A previous version of this article was unclear about Jonathan Glazer’s reference to refuting Jewishness. The article has been updated.

Source link

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Scroll to Top