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Why Jonathan Glazer’s Controversial Acceptance Speech Isn’t on the Oscars’ YouTube Page

One of the biggest talking points of Oscar night was “The Zone of Interest” director Jonathan Glazer’s powerful yet controversial acceptance speech about the Holocaust “being hijacked by an occupation” in reference to the October 7 attack by Hamas and the ongoing conflict in Gaza.

Not long after “The Zone of Interest” won Best International Feature Film and Glazer’s speech aired live, some onlookers online wondered why the Academy had uploaded video clips throughout the evening of other acceptance speeches, but not one of the key ones that many were talking about. Many online began speculating about the Oscars’ potential censorship of the speech in an attempt to hide Glazer’s comments about the conflict.

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But the reason Glazer’s speech is not (currently) available on the Oscars’ official YouTube page is not a nefarious one, but a technical one. An ABC source tells IndieWire that, as part of the distribution agreement between ABC and AMPAS, ABC has a 30-day window in which it has exclusive clip rights to a pre-determined list of 10 different categories, one of those being International Feature Film. As of this moment, you can find the full speech on ABC’s YouTube page, as well as on ABC.com and Oscar.com.

The other nine speeches that ABC has posted on its channel — but not on the Oscars channel — include Makeup and Hairstyling, Costume Design, Production Design, Film Editing, Live Action Short Film, Documentary Short Film, Cinematography, Documentary Feature, and Sound. It’s also worth mentioning that the Oscars’ YouTube page is currently hosting some videos of those winners in the backstage press room, but Glazer and his team did not speak to press backstage after he won his Oscar for International Feature Film.

After 30 days, the Academy will be able to post the Glazer speech and other videos on its own YouTube channel.

Glazer’s speech sparked a firestorm of backlash online, with many misquoting the director and making it sounds if he had renounced his own Judaism as a result of the violence in Gaza. An early version of the quote in Variety omitted a chunk of Glazer’s words from the stage, including a key phrase that clarified that he was not refuting his faith, but the fact that it was “being hijacked by an occupation,” before it was eventually corrected.

Here’s the full context of the controversial quote:

“Our film shows where dehumanization leads at its worst. It’s shaped all of our past and present,” Glazer said in his acceptance speech. “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?”

Glazer was joined on stage by fellow producer on the film James Wilson and its financial backer Leonard Blavatnik. He dedicated his speech to the memory of a Polish woman depicted in “The Zone of Interest,” and he also said that the purpose of the film was not to look at how we were then but about how we are now. The film follows the family of Auschwitz commandant Rudolf Höss as they live just outside the walls of the concentration camp during the Holocaust, with the film never taking the audience inside those walls but allowing us to hear the horrors while the protagonists manage to ignore them. (It, fittingly, won the Oscar for Best Sound as well.)

Traffic to the Oscars in Los Angeles was disrupted by a Palestinian protest. And while some attendees wore pins in support of Palestine or to call for a ceasefire, only Glazer made mention of the events in his speech.

Editor’s Note: This story previously identified a “Zone of Interest” character mentioned in Jonathan Glazer’s speech as Jewish. The character is Polish.

Additional reporting by Marcus Jones.

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