Amy Sherman-Palladino, Eli Roth among 1,200+ Jewish creatives rejecting Jonathan Glazer’s Oscars speech


(JTA) – More than 1,200 Jewish Hollywood creatives have signed onto a statement rejecting the speech criticizing Israel by “The Zone of Interest” director Jonathan Glazer at this month’s Academy Awards.

The signatories include “The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel” writer Amy Sherman-Palladino, horror director Eli Roth and actress Jennifer Jason Leigh, as well as several show-business figures — Debra Messing, Brett Gelman, Michael Rappaport and others — who have been prominent defenders of Israel during its war against Hamas.

In the speech, Glazer said he and the others accepting the Oscar for best international feature for their Holocaust film “refute their Jewishness and the Holocaust being hijacked by an occupation which has led to conflict for so many innocent people, whether the victims of October the 7th in Israel or the ongoing attack on Gaza.”

The comments have drawn fierce criticism, both over his phrasing that caused some to believe he had rejected his Jewish identity and over his apparently intended meaning, that Israel’s war in Gaza is characterized by the same kind of “dehumanization” that made the Holocaust possible.

Now, a statement organized by United Jewish Writers, a coalition that formed shortly after Hamas’ Oct. 7 attack on Israel as the Hollywood unions were divided over whether and how to issue statements condemning the attack and supporting Israel, aims to demonstrate the scope of dissent within Hollywood.

“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 statement says.

The statement laments the death of Palestinian civilians but lays the blame with Hamas, not Israel. It also interprets Glazer’s mention of “occupation” to apply to the entire State of Israel.

“The use of 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,” the statement says. “It 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 statement concludes, “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.”

Glazer has not commented publicly about the statement or any of the responses — critical or supportive — to his speech.

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