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Home Culture A thousand Hollywood workers denounce Jonathan Glazer’s speech at the Oscars for “fueling anti-Jewish hatred” | Culture

A thousand Hollywood workers denounce Jonathan Glazer’s speech at the Oscars for “fueling anti-Jewish hatred” | Culture

by News Room
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Although almost 10 days have passed since the Oscars, the awards and their universe are still going strong in Hollywood. This is the case of the speech that Jonathan Glazer made on the night of the awards, when his film The area of ​​interest won the award for best international film (category where it competed against the Spanish film The Snow Society, by Juan Antonio Bayona, among others) for his extremely harsh portrait of the Auschwitz concentration camp. The British and Jewish filmmaker raised his voice in a gala that until now was white and full of simple jokes to talk about the conflict between Israel and Gaza, in the only allusion to it of the night. However, it seems that these words have not gone down well in Jewish and very conservative Hollywood. So far, around a thousand names from Los Angeles culture have signed a letter complaining about what Glazer said.

The medium specialized in the audiovisual industry Variety has had access to the letter, which was initially signed by 450 people and by Tuesday afternoon there were already a thousand, and which included actors such as Debra Messing, Jennifer Jason Leigh, Michael Rapaport, Eli Roth and Julianna Margulies (who in December went through controversy when he had to apologize for having offended black and LGBT communities by accusing them of anti-Semitism in a podcast) to directors like Rod Lurie (The Outpost), creators like Amy Sherman-Palladino (Gilmore Girls, The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel), producers such as Amy Pascal (Little Women, Spider-Man: Crossing the Multiverse), Gary Gilbert (La La Land, The boys are fine) y Lawrence Bender (Pulp Fiction, Inglourious Basterds), executives such as Gary Barber, who was president and CEO of Metro Goldwyn Mayer, screenwriters, musicians, lyricists, video game creators, photographers, distributors, publicists or artists’ representatives.

The statement states: “We reject our Judaism being hijacked for the purpose of establishing a moral equivalence between a Nazi regime that sought to exterminate a race of people and an Israeli nation seeking to prevent its own extermination.” And he continues: “Every civilian death in Gaza is a tragedy. Israel does not target civilians. Their target is Hamas. The moment Hamas releases the hostages and surrenders, this harrowing war will end. This has been true since the Hamas attacks of October 7. Using words like occupation to describe an indigenous Jewish people defending a homeland that dates back thousands of years and has been recognized as a state by the United Nations distorts history. It gives credence to the modern blood libel that fuels a growing anti-Jewish hatred throughout the world, in the United States and in Hollywood. The current climate of growing anti-Semitism only underscores the need for the Jewish State of Israel, a place that will always welcome us, as no other State did during the Holocaust depicted in Glazer’s film.”

The letter confronts the words spoken by Glazer during the gala, which did not exactly raise a wave of approval among the public present at the Dolby theater. “All our decisions were made to reflect and confront the present, not to say ‘Look what they did then’, but ‘Look what we do now.’ Our film shows where dehumanization is taking us,” said Glazer on stage, alongside his producers. “Right now, we stand here as men who refuse to have their Judaism and the Holocaust hijacked by an occupation that has driven so many innocent people into conflict, whether they are the victims of October 7 in Israel or the ongoing attack.” taking place in Gaza.” What was nothing more than a relatively lukewarm and calmly delivered speech garnered adequate applause, beyond that of some enthusiasts like Mark Ruffalo (who, like Billie Eilish or Ava DuVernay, put a pin on his lapel to demand a stop. the fire), has been turning into a big snowball these days that has offended the Jewish community, very present in the positions of power in the city of stars.

From left to right, James Wilson, Leonard Blavatnik and Jonathan Glazer collect the Oscar for best international film for ‘The Zone of Interest’, at the Dolby Theater in Hollywood on March 10, 2024.
CAROLINE BREHMAN (EFE)

As explained in Variety one of the signatories, Ilana Wernick, producer among others of Modern Family y Until death do us part, “sadly, hatred against the Jews prevailed.” “That’s why so many of us in the industry reached out to each other. It was a very sad, terrifying night. Writing the letter was not only cathartic, but something we had to do.” Director Jonathan Jakubowicz also states that “it is important to call for peace, and we all do it, but in this conflict misinformation only prolongs the war. And his comments, unfortunately, gave legitimacy to propaganda networks interested in prolonging the war to demonize the Jewish people.” In an article in The Hollywood Reporteranother of the great entertainment media in the United States, producer Richard Trank, winner of the Oscar in 1997 for the documentary The Long Way Home, precisely about the creation of the State of Israel, described Glazer’s speech as “arrogant”: “Many Jews around the world felt outraged and disgusted by what the Oscar winner said. And joining that group, I would say that if we are going to resist or refute anything, it is statements like the one issued by Jonathan Glazer.”

The Monday after the director’s speech The area of ​​interest (based on a novel by Martin Amis, who saw the finished film shortly before he died), the Israeli Minister of Diaspora and Fight against Anti-Semitism, Amijai Chikli, commented on the social network is the name of the useful fool on duty who chose last night to stick a knife in the back of his people,” along with a photo of Glazer, whom he described as a “self-anti-Semitic Jew” for whom “there is no forgiveness.” Former United Nations ambassador and deputy Danny Danon, a member of the same party, the Likud, led by Benjamin Netanyahu, argued that it is “a shame that a Jewish director takes advantage of the stage he was given to make anti-Semitic statements comparing the Holocaust to war.” “It was inevitable that it was forced on us.” Several Jewish organizations in the United States also criticized Glazer’s words: “Israel does not hijack Judaism or the Holocaust by defending itself against genocidal terrorists,” so the speech was “factually incorrect and morally reprehensible,” the Anti-Defamation League stated.

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