Jonathan Glazer holds an Oscar award against a plain background.

151 Jewish Creators Sign Letter Supporting Jonathan Glazer’s Powerful Oscars Speech

Jonathan Glazer delivered an impassioned speech condemning the Israel-Gaza war at the Academy Awards last month.  This led to an outpouring of anger from pro-Israel celebrities—but now another group of prominent figures have expressed support for his anti-genocide statements and for Palestinians in Gaza.

Recommended Videos

While on stage to collect the Academy Award for Best International Feature Film for his chilling Holocaust drama The Zone of Interest, Glazer, who is Jewish, made the most-heard political statement of the night. “Our film shows where dehumanization leads at its worst. It shaped all of our past and present,” he told the audience.

“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. Whether the victims of October the 7th in Israel or the ongoing attack on Gaza, all the victims of this dehumanization, how do we resist?”

It was a well-thought-out statement with a simple message. And yet there was an immediate outcry against Glazer’s words. On March 18, hundreds of entertainers and entertainment industry executives published an open letter denouncing his words. These included director Eli Roth, actresses Debra Messing and Jennifer Jason Leigh, and producers Amy Pascal and Gary Gilbert. They said in their statement, throwing Glazer’s words back at him, “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.”

Meanwhile, atrocities continued to take place in Gaza. Most recently, on April 1, the Israeli Defense Force (IDF) killed seven aid workers from World Central Kitchen. This led to multiple agencies pulling aid from Gaza, leaving the population ever more at risk of dying from starvation.

The Jewish celebrities supporting Glazer’s statements

In response to the initial letter and the horrific situation in Gaza, many in the entertainment industry have now put their names down agreeing with Glazer’s powerful words. According to Variety, 151 people are part of this group, which is a smaller number than the signatories of the letter condemning Glazer’s speech but it includes some prominent names.

Joaquin Phoenix, Boots Riley, Joel Coen, Wallace Shawn, Elliott Gould, Todd Haynes, Hari Nef, and Debra Winger—all people who have starred in beloved movies and/or helmed big projects—are among the signatories. Their letter opens:

“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 1200 Israelis killed in the October 7th 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.”

The full statement, and the full list of names, can be read at Variety. The outlet states that they’ve “reached out to personal representatives for many of the signatories.”

Let’s hope others in the entertainment industry and beyond take the words in the letter to heart.

(featured image: Jeff Kravitz/FilmMagic)


The Mary Sue is supported by our audience. When you purchase through links on our site, we may earn a small affiliate commission. Learn more
related content
Read Article What’s the Eco Pup’s Catchphrase Your Toddler Keeps Repeating From ‘PAW Patrol’?
Rocky on Nickelodeon's "PAW Patrol"
Read Article One Cut ‘Bridgerton’ Character Changes One of Season 3’s Best Scenes From the Books
The Featherington sisters and their husbands in Bridgerton season 3
Read Article When Can We Return to the Flames With ‘Fire Country’ Season 3?
Max Thieriot in Fire Country
Read Article Get Emotionally Wrecked by the 9 Best Shows Like ‘Heartbreak High’
Amerie, Darren, and Quinni standing at their lockers in Heartbreak High
Read Article Best ‘Bluey’ Cake Ideas
Bingo and Bandit making a cake
Related Content
Read Article What’s the Eco Pup’s Catchphrase Your Toddler Keeps Repeating From ‘PAW Patrol’?
Rocky on Nickelodeon's "PAW Patrol"
Read Article One Cut ‘Bridgerton’ Character Changes One of Season 3’s Best Scenes From the Books
The Featherington sisters and their husbands in Bridgerton season 3
Read Article When Can We Return to the Flames With ‘Fire Country’ Season 3?
Max Thieriot in Fire Country
Read Article Get Emotionally Wrecked by the 9 Best Shows Like ‘Heartbreak High’
Amerie, Darren, and Quinni standing at their lockers in Heartbreak High
Read Article Best ‘Bluey’ Cake Ideas
Bingo and Bandit making a cake
Author
Sarah Barrett
Sarah Barrett (she/her) is a freelance writer with The Mary Sue who has been working in journalism since 2014. She loves to write about movies, even the bad ones. (Especially the bad ones.) The Raimi Spider-Man trilogy and the Star Wars prequels changed her life in many interesting ways. She lives in one of the very, very few good parts of England.