Advertisement

Amid Backlash, Jonathan Glazer Finds Some Public Support In Hollywood & From Auschwitz Memorial Director

Jonathan Glazer’s Oscar acceptance speech after Zone of Interest won the Oscar for Best International Feature Film has drawn condemnation from more than a thousand Hollywood actors, creatives and executives over the past few days, but there are also some in the entertainment industry who have spoken in support of Glazer and his speech. (For full details about Glazer’s speech and the backlash, click here.)

For context, here is the entirety of Glazer’s speech:

More from Deadline

Thank you so much. I’m going to read, I’m afraid.

Thank you to the Academy for this honor and to our partners A24 Films for access and Polish Film Institute, to the Stead Museum for their trust and guidance, to my producers, actors, collaborators.

All our choices were made to reflect and confront us in the present, not to say look what they did then, but rather look what we do now.

Our film shows where dehumanization leads at its worst. It’s shaped all of our past and present. 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 — 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? Alexandria, the girl who glows in the film as she did in life, chose to. I dedicate this to her memory and her resistance. Thank you.

Yesterday, She Said star Zoe Kazan shared a string of tweets that read in part, “kind of shocked that anyone who saw zone of interest could be shocked by what glazer said at the oscars…a movie so rigorously intent on not allowing its audience escape into sentiment or self-congratulation, that turns a mirror instead, asking us to look at ourselves and think….. that the person who made that film might ask the same of us while accepting an award for his work…it makes me so sad that this could even be considered a political stance.”

Among the others speaking out in support was I’m a Virgo creator Boots Riley. “Salute to Jonathan Glazer,” Riley wrote on X. He praised Glazer for, among other things, “speaking out against the atrocities in Gaza & saying that his movie is about the present day.”

The band Massive Attack weighed in as well with, “Jonathan Glazer is a filmmaker of the highest integrity, craft & bravery. A filmmaker who researches his subject matter painstakingly, & weighs his artistic judgements with high care & deep humanity. That care, judgement & humanity led to the conclusions of his speech. Solidarity.”

Directors Asif Kapadia and Jesse Peretz were among those to express support for Glazer’s speech, according to Variety, and actor Mark Ruffalo was among many to clap the speech in the auditorium on the night. Industry professionals to have posted support for the speech include Black List founder Franklin Leonard and Red Sea Film Festival programmer Kaleem Aftab. Since the publication of the letter condemning Glazer’s speech, there have been a slew of supportive messages for Glazer on social media, including from prominent film critics including Guy Lodge and Dave Ehrlich, indie filmmakers such as Mark Cousins, and non-profit organizations including Jewish Voice For Peace. Those messages have in turn drawn praise and criticism.

Maybe the most surprising response to the speech was posted by Auschwitz Memorial Director Dr. Piotr M. A. Cywiński on that organization’s official X page.

“In his Oscar acceptance speech, Jonathan Glazer issued a universal moral warning against dehumanization,” the statement begins. “His aim was not to descend to the level of political discourse. Critics who expected a clear political stance or a film solely about genocide did not grasp the depth of his message. The Zone of Interest is not a film about the Shoah. It is primarily a profound warning about humanity and its nature.”

Following backlash against his post, Cywiński later clarified that “Glazer’s brief, emotional, and widely criticized Oscar acceptance speech is open for interpretation…I never wanted to cause any hurt or anger. My goal was to remind us that the role of memory is to confront every one of us with the most uncomfortable ethical and moral questions.”

Further afield, an independent filmmaker (who describes himself on the platform as Jewish) has started a Change.org petition in support of Glazer. The petition has amassed 573 signatures since being posted yesterday but the signatories are not publicly visible at present.

Andreas Wiseman contributed to this report.

Best of Deadline

Sign up for Deadline's Newsletter. For the latest news, follow us on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.