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Fact Check: No, Jonathan Glazer Did Not 'Refute His Jewishness' in Oscars Speech. Here's the Truth

Rodin Eckenroth/Getty Images
Rodin Eckenroth/Getty Images

Claim:

In his 2024 Oscars acceptance speech for the Holocaust drama "The Zone of Interest," filmmaker Jonathon Glazer said he "refutes" his Jewishness.

Rating:

Rating: False
Rating: False

Context:

Viral quotes and clips misleadingly omitted a portion of Glazer's statement on stage. His full remarks were, “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.”

 

The protracted, often bloody Israeli-Palestinian conflict exploded into a hot war on Oct. 7, 2023, when the militant Palestinian group Hamas launched a deadly attack on Israel and Israel retaliated by bombarding the Gaza Strip. More than 20,000 people, the vast majority of them Palestinians, were reportedly killed during the first two months of the war alone. The violence is driven by mutual hostilities and territorial ambitions dating back more than a century. The internet has become an unofficial front in that war and is rife with misinformation, which Snopes is dedicated to countering with facts and context. You can help. Read the latest fact checks. Submit questionable claims. Become a Snopes Member to support our work. We welcome your participation and feedback.

Despite his full remarks being widely available for several days since being made at the 96th Academy Awards, some pundits still mischaracterized the speech Jewish filmmaker Jonathan Glazer gave when he took the stage to accept the best international film award. Shortly after giving an acceptance speech that was critical of Israeli military action in Gaza, social media posts and videos surfaced claiming he "refuted" his Jewishness.

In a post that she still defends, for example, conservative pundit Meghan McCain framed this alleged statement — and its purported acceptance by the crowd — as evidence of Hollywood's antisemitism:

These claims are derived from media that misleadingly omitted a portion of Glazer's remarks about the Israel-Hamas war, and are based on a universe in which Glazer's sentence ended prematurely.

While on stage for "The Zone of Interest," a film that depicts the life of Nazi commandant Rudolf Höss and his wife living next to the Auschwitz concentration camp," his sentence did not end, as viral claims suggested, with the word "Jewishness."

Rather, he said he and his co-filmmakers refuted the notion of having their Jewishness, and the Holocaust itself, hijacked "by an occupation" (a reference to Israel's military occupation of Gaza) that "has led to conflict for so many innocent people." Here's a transcription of the in-question portion of his acceptance speech (emphasis ours):

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

Our film shows where dehumanization leads, at its worst. It 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 the 7th in Israel or the ongoing attack on Gaza, all are the victims of this dehumanization, how do we resist?

Because Glazer refuted the use of Jewishness and the Holocaust being "hijacked by an occupation" in reference to the Israeli military in Gaza, and because he did not refute his own Jewishness, these claims were "False."

Sources:

Guy, Zoe. "Jonathan Glazer Condemns 'Occupation,' 'Dehumanization' During Oscars Speech." Vulture, 11 Mar. 2024, https://www.vulture.com/article/oscars-2024-jonathan-glazer-speech-full-transcript.html.

Jonathan Glazer Calls out Israel's Weaponisation of the Holocaust. www.youtube.com, https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3ymiyNmr1WY. Accessed 11 Mar. 2024.

Zone of Interest Director Jonathan Glazer Makes Gaza Statement in Oscars Speech. 11 Mar. 2024. www.bbc.com, https://www.bbc.com/news/entertainment-arts-68531229.