‘Zone of Interest’ EP Publicly Disagrees With Jonathan Glazer’s Oscar Speech on Israel-Hamas

“The Zone Of Interest” executive producer Danny Cohen publicly addressed director Jonathan Glazer’s Oscars speech, becoming the first internal member of the film’s production to “fundamentally disagree with Jonathan.”

While accepting the award on Sunday for best international film, Glazer delivered prepared remarks where, alongside producer James Wilson and executive producer Len Blavatnik, he referenced the Israel-Hamas war.

In the speech, which has since seen backlash, Glazer said “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?”

While making an appearance on the “Unholy” podcast, Cohen, president of Access Entertainment and former director of BBC television, expressed his frustrations with the comments.

“It’s really important to recognize it’s upset a lot of people and a lot of people feel upset and angry about it,” Cohen said. “And I understand that anger, frankly.”

Cohen added that he “fundamentally disagrees” with Glazer on this topic.

“The war and the continuation of the war is the responsibility of Hamas, a genocidal terrorist organization which continues to hold and abuse the hostages, which doesn’t use its tunnels to protect the innocent civilians of Gaza but uses it to hide themselves and allow Palestinians to die. I think the war is tragic and awful and the loss of civilian life is awful, but I blame Hamas for that,” Cohen said on the podcast.

Cohen also revealed that Glazer had written the speech with Wilson, however, Blavatnik was reportedly unaware of what he was going to say on the stage.

“John spent 10 years making the film and has made something remarkable but people are talking this week more about what he said for 30 seconds,” Cohen continued. “And I think that’s regrettable because I’d love the conversation to be focused on the film itself.”

“He can stand up there and choose his own words and that’s fine and he’ll do that and he’s a strong person and I’m sure he’ll stand by those but for me it wasn’t the right time and didn’t have enough context and I thought it was a distraction from the great piece of art. John is someone who really, he allows his work to do the talking,” Cohen said.

“The film as I say is remarkable and I think that’s what’s going to be remembered in the longterm, not that speech,” Cohen concluded. “And we’re extremely proud of the film. There’s been a bump in the road here but I don’t think it takes away from us that it’s a remarkable film and the impact it can have on Holocaust education which was certainly the purpose for Len Blavatnik and I.”

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