More than 1,000 Hollywood creatives condemn Jonathan Glazer speech

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More than 1,000 Hollywood creatives condemn Jonathan Glazer speech

Actors and producers sign open letter denouncing Oscar night comments

Jenni Frazer is a freelance journalist

Jonathan Glazer
Jonathan Glazer

More than 1,100 Hollywood actors, producers, writers and directors have signed an open letter decrying Jonathan Glazer’s comments in his Oscars acceptance speech for his Holocaust film, The Zone of Interest.

Notoriously, Glazer, who is Jewish, chose the Academy Awards ceremony on March 11 to claim that he and producers Len Blavatnik and James Wilson — who are also Jewish — “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.” Blavatnik has allegedly since distanced himself indirectly from Glazer’s comments by underlining his wholehearted support for Israel.

But those signing the open letter — including actors Debra Messing, Jennifer Jason Leigh, Tovah Feldshuh and Julianna Margulies — mirrored Glazer’s language by writing: “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.”

Many of the signatories are big names in the creative industries around Hollywood, and include producers such as former Academy and Producers Guild Of America president Hawk Koch, former Paramount and Sony studio heads Sherry Lansing and Amy Pascal, and Gary Barber of Spyglass Media Group.

The open letter disputed the use of the word “occupation” to describe what signatories said was the Jewish people’s defence of “a homeland that dates back thousands of years”, adding that it distorted history and fuelled rising global antisemitism.

It added: “Every civilian death in Gaza is tragic. Israel is not targeting civilians. It is targeting Hamas. The moment Hamas releases the hostages and surrenders, is the moment this heartbreaking war ends. This has been true since the Hamas attacks of October 7”.


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