News Release

Hollywood’s Big Backlash Against Glazer’s Oscar Speech


Variety reported that “more than 1,000 Jewish creatives, executives and Hollywood professionals have signed an open letter denouncing Jonathan Glazer’s ‘The Zone of Interest’ Oscar speech.” The letter accused Glazer (who is Jewish) 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 accusation was in sharp contrast to Glazer’s emphasis in his speech accepting an Academy Award for his film “The Zone of Interest.” In the present, he said, what’s crucial is “not to say, ‘Look what they did then,’ rather, ‘Look what we do now.’”

The open letter “refused to look at what Israel is doing now as it bombs, kills, maims and starves Palestinian civilians in Gaza, where there are now 32,000 known dead and 74,000 injured,” Norman Solomon wrote in an article published this week, “Death Culture: When 1,000 in Hollywood Proclaim Support for Gaza Slaughter.”

He added: “The letter even denied that an occupation actually exists — objecting to ‘the use of words like ‘occupation’ to describe an indigenous Jewish people defending a homeland that dates back thousands of years.’ Somehow the Old Testament was presumed to be sufficient justification for the ongoing slaughter of Palestinians in Gaza, most of whose ancestors lived in what’s now Israel. The vast majority of 2.2 million people have been driven from their bombed-out homes in Gaza, with many now facing starvation due to blockage of food.”

But in the letter signed by more than 1,000 in the entertainment industry, Solomon continued, “all the ire is directed at Glazer for pointing out that moral choices on matters of life and death are not merely consigned to the past. The crimes against humanity committed by Nazi Germany against Jews are in no way exculpatory for the crimes against humanity now being committed by Israel.”

Solomon observed that much of the focus of Glazer’s Oscar-winning movie “is on the lives of a man and a woman preoccupied with career, status and material well-being. Such preoccupations are hardly unfamiliar in the movie industry, where silence or support for the Gaza war are common among professionals — in contrast to Jonathan Glazer and others, Jewish or not, who have spoken out in his defense or for a ceasefire.”

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Solomon is the author of War Made Invisible. He is the executive director of the Institute for Public Accuracy.