Jonathan Glazer’s Oscars Speech Garners Support from Jewish Creatives

Nearly a month after Jonathan Glazer’s thought-provoking Oscars speech, a significant number of Jewish creatives in the industry have come forward to express their support, amidst the backlash it triggered. This development has added a new layer to the ongoing discussion about the speech’s implications and the wider issues it touched upon.

Support from the Industry

A group of 151 Jewish creatives, including prominent names such as Joaquin Phoenix, Chloe Fineman, Janicza Bravo, and Joel Coen, have signed a letter backing Glazer. Their collective stance aims to counteract the negative reactions and misinterpretations of Glazer’s speech by some industry peers. The letter explicitly mentions their concern over the mischaracterization of Glazer’s remarks and condemns the attacks on him as a “dangerous distraction” from the escalating military campaign in Israel, which has had devastating effects on the population in Gaza.

The Controversial Oscars Speech

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During the Academy Awards on March 10, Glazer, while accepting the best international film trophy for “Zone of Interest,” spoke against the backdrop of the Holocaust to highlight the dangers of dehumanization. His speech aimed to draw parallels between historical atrocities and contemporary conflicts, including the situation in Gaza and the October 7 attacks in Israel. This nuanced take was met with mixed reactions, sparking a debate on the politicization of human tragedies and the role of artists in such discussions.

Industry Reactions

The support for Glazer’s speech, as indicated by the letter, underscores a division within the industry regarding the interpretation and implications of his comments. While some have denounced his speech, others, like Tony Kushner, have come to its defense, highlighting the importance of acknowledging and resisting dehumanization in all its forms. The varied reactions reflect the complexities of addressing politically sensitive issues within artistic and public forums.

See the new letter in support of Glazer below, along with the full list of creatives who signed below.

We are Jewish artists, filmmakers, writers, and creative professionals who support Jonathan Glazer’s statement from the 2024 Oscars. We were alarmed to see some of our colleagues in the industry mischaracterize and denounce his remarks. Their attacks on Glazer are a dangerous distraction from Israel’s escalating military campaign which has already killed over 32,000 Palestinians in Gaza and brought hundreds of thousands to the brink of starvation. We grieve for all those who have been killed in Palestine and Israel over too many decades, including the 1,200 Israelis killed in the Oct. 7 Hamas attacks and the 253 hostages taken.

The attacks on Glazer also have a silencing effect on our industry, contributing to a broader climate of suppression of free speech and dissent, the very qualities our field should cherish. Glazer, Tony Kushner, Steven Spielberg and countless other artists of all backgrounds have decried the killing of Palestinian civilians. We should all be able to do the same without being wrongly accused of fueling antisemitism.

In his speech, Glazer asked how we can resist the dehumanization that has led to mass atrocities throughout history. For such a statement to be taken as an affront only underscores its urgency. We should be able to name Israel’s apartheid and occupation — both recognized by leading human rights organizations as such — without being accused of rewriting history.

As the Director of the Auschwitz Memorial, Dr. Piotr M. A. Cywiński, wrote, “The Zone of Interest is not a film about the Shoah. It is primarily a profound warning about humanity and its nature.” We must not reserve this warning for a single group. To preserve our humanity and ensure our mutual survival, we must sound the alarm when any group faces such brutality and acts of erasure.

We are proud Jews who denounce the weaponization of Jewish identity and the memory of the Holocaust to justify what many experts in international law, including leading Holocaust scholars, have identified as a “genocide in the making.” We reject the false choice between Jewish safety and Palestinian freedom. We stand with all those calling for a permanent ceasefire, including the safe return of all hostages and the immediate delivery of aid into Gaza, and an end to Israel’s ongoing bombardment of and siege on Gaza.

We honor the memory of the Holocaust by saying: Never again for anyone.


Lenny Abrahamson
Ra’anan Alexandrowicz
Erin Allweiss

Mark Asch
Liran Atzmor
Erin Axelman
Annie Baker
Todd Banhazl
Ariela Barer
Morgan Bassichis
Joshuah Bearman

Abner Benaim
Amy Berg
Kate Berlant
Gregg Bordowitz
Agnes Borinsky
Janicza Bravo
Margaret Brown
Dan Bucatinsky
Simone Bitton
Daniel Chalfen
Joel Coen
Dan Cogan

Dominic Cooke
Molly Crabapple
David Cross
Cyrus Dunham
David Ehrlich
Deborah Eisenberg
Isaac Feldberg
Chloe Fineman
Jordan Firstman
Frances Fisher

Sarah Sophie Flicker
Esther Freud
Bella Freud
Uri Fruchtmann
Noah Galvin
Sarah Gavron
Tavi Gevinson
Ilana Glazer
Natalie Gold
Sam Gold
Jimmy Goldblum

Daniel Goldhaber
Nan Goldin
Josh Gondelman
Josh Gordon
Elliott Gould
Miles Greenberg
Doron Max Hagay
Gordon Hall

Todd Haynes
Fred Hechinger
Lee Hirsch
Eliza Hittman
Nicole Holofcener
Ilan Isakov
Abbi Jacobson
Kristi Jacobson

Rachel Leah Jones
Miranda July
David Katznelson
Deborah Kaufman
Ella Kemp
Sara Kiener
Lola Kirke
Dan Kitrosser

Alison Klayman
Naomi Klein
Pamela Koffler
Jess Kohl
Maris Kreizman
Lisa Kron
Justin Kuritzkes
Rachel Kushner
Serge Lalou
Nadav Lapid
Julliette Larthe

Michael Lieberman
Alison Leiby
Mike Leigh
Cindi Leive
Jonathan Lethem
Mica Levi
Avi Lewis
Kyle Lukoff
Darius Marder
Miriam Margolyes

Sam Marks
Daniel Maté
Gabor Maté
Jane Mayle
Jonathan Meth
Lise Mayer
Collier Meyerson
Avi Mograbi
Sophie Monks Kaufman

Mik Moore
Michael Morris
Hari Nef
Chani Nicholas
David Osit
Nira Park
Zeena Parkins
Joaquin Phoenix
Rain Phoenix

Max Posner
Jeff Preiss
Sarah Ramos
Allon Reich
Leo Reich
Boots Riley
Howard A. Rodman
Jon Ronson
Jacqueline Rose

Martin Rosenbaum
Jason Rosenberg
Tessa Ross
Ira Sachs
Tilly Scantlebury
James Schamus
Jane Schoenbrun
Sarah Schulman
Emma Seligman
Wallace Shawn
Mel Shimkowitz
Noam Shuster Eliassi

Amy Sillman
Nathan Silver
Michael Skolnik
Gillian Slovo
Robyn Slovo
Shawn Slovo
Sarah Adina Smith
Alan Snitow
Morgan Spector
Tom Stoppard
Kae Tempest
Lynne Tillman
Rachel Traub
V (formerly Eve Ensler)

Alicia Van Couvering
Adam Weber
Madeline Weinstein
Debra Winger
Matt Wolf
Jeremy Yaches
Gary Yershon
Jeremiah Zagar
Alexander Zeldin

Wrapping Up

The unfolding discourse following Jonathan Glazer’s Oscars speech, and the subsequent show of support from a segment of the Jewish creative community, illustrates the challenges and responsibilities of public figures in navigating and addressing geopolitical conflicts. As more voices join the conversation, it serves as a reminder of the power of cinema and public discourse in influencing perspectives and advocating for humanity.

For more insights and detailed analysis on cinema’s role in societal discourse, visit HITPLAY.

Tags: Jonathan Glazer, Oscars, Joaquin Phoenix, Chloe Fineman, Janicza Bravo, Joel Coen, Israel, Gaza, Holocaust, film industry

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