/Joaquin Phoenix And 150 Hollywood Creatives Sign Open Letter Supporting Jonathan Glazer

Joaquin Phoenix And 150 Hollywood Creatives Sign Open Letter Supporting Jonathan Glazer

Actors Joaquin Phoenix and Elliott Gould and producer Joel Coen joined more than 150 Jewish professionals in Hollywood who have signed an open letter in support of writer and director Jonathan Glazer, who was widely denounced for sharing his perspective on the Israel-Gaza conflict at the Oscars last month.

The letter, addressing concerns of “silencing” dissent, was shared Friday with Variety and was signed by a plethora of renowned artists, among them directors Todd Haynes and Mike Leigh; actors David Cross, Ilana Glazer and Abbi Jacobson; and writers Boots Riley and Tom Stoppard.

“We are Jewish artists, filmmakers, writers and creative professionals who support Jonathan Glazer’s statement from the 2024 Oscars,” the letter says, according to Variety. “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,” the statement says.

Glazer, in his acceptance speech when the Holocaust drama “The Zone of Interest” won for best international feature film, said that he and his colleagues simply “refute their Jewishness and the Holocaust being hijacked by an occupation.”

“Whether the victims of October the 7th in Israel of the ongoing attack on Gaza, all the victims of this dehumanization, how do we resist?” Glazer said as he read from a piece of paper while trembling.

Though he found support in the following days from screenwriter Tony Kushner, a fellow Jew who said the conflict “looks like ethnic cleansing to me,” Glazer was slammed by many others in Hollywood who suggested he had cruelly conflated Israel with Nazi Germany.

Friday’s letter notes that every signatory grieves for those affected on both sides of the war, “including the 1,200 Israelis killed in the Oct. 7 Hamas attacks and the 253 hostages taken,” but it also condemns the “silencing” and “suppression of free speech and dissent” to follow.

“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,” it says.

The open letter concluded by stating that "Never again" means "Never again for anyone."
The open letter concluded by stating that “Never again” means “Never again for anyone.”

Carlos Alvarez via Getty Images

Israel’s bombing campaign spawned widespread calls for a cease-fire from entities including the United Nations and from celebrities such as “Scream” actor Melissa Barrera, who was subsequently fired from the franchise, and Susan Sarandon, whose talent agency dropped her as a client.

The letter was also signed by three-time Oscar nominee Debra Winger, “Room” director Lenny Abrahamson, “Barbie” actor Hari Nef, former Focus Pictures CEO James Schamus and IndieWire film critic David Ehrlich, who say they believe their stance is morally sound.

“We honor the Holocaust by saying: Never again for anyone,” the statement concludes.

According to Gaza’s health ministry, more than 33,037 Palestinians have been killed since Oct. 7 — most of them women and children. On Tuesday, aid organizations suspended operations in Gaza after Israeli airstrikes killed seven World Central Kitchen workers trying to bring food aid to besieged Palestinians.

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