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Jonathan Glazer Open Letter Gets More Than 500 Additional Signatures Overnight (Exclusive)

More than 500 additional Hollywood figures signed the letter overnight condemning Jonathan Glazer’s Oscars 2024 speech for his best international film win for The Zone of Interest.

The letter, which was published yesterday with 450 signees already attached, denounced the director’s speech, mimicking his own phrasing at the awards show on March 10. The signatories include actors, executives, directors, creators, producers and representatives.

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“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 began.

In his acceptance speech, Glazer shared that he made The Zone of Interest in an effort to show “where dehumanization leads at its worst” and how it shapes the past and present.

Glazer continued, “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 Oct. 7 in Israel or the ongoing attack on Gaza, all the victims of this dehumanization, how do we resist?”

The open letter directly addressed the director’s use of the word “occupation” in his speech, noting, “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.”

Since the letter was published, those behind the letter have been contacted by several people who want to share their thoughts on the speech.

“That speech was a turning point,” says one person familiar with the effort. “It’s taken off in a way that we never expected. People who were more comfortable staying on the sidelines have decided they can no longer remain silent.”

Some of the big names in Hollywood who signed the letter include Amy Pascal, Sherry Lansing, Julianna Margulies, Debra Messing, Brett Gelman, Amy Sherman Palladino, Jennifer Jason Leigh, Michael Rappaport, Mark Pellegrino and Eli Roth, among many others.

Since the Oscars, Glazer’s speech has received lots of pushback, with many people taking the quote out of context and only using the part in which he says he and his fellow filmmakers were men refuting their Jewishness.

People who worked on the film have also come forward to share their disagreement with the speech, including its financier Danny Cohen. Zone of Interest producer Len Blavatnik, who was onstage with Glazer at the awards show, shared a statement through a representative that the director had not run the speech by him before giving it, despite speaking on behalf of those accepting the award.

Read the full letter below.

We are Jewish creatives, executives and Hollywood professionals. 

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.  

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 7th.

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. 

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 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.

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