Oscars' Academy Museum altering Jewish exhibit that 'may unintentionally reinforce stereotypes' amid concerns

"We take these concerns seriously and are committed to making changes to the exhibition to address them," an Academy Museum spokesperson told EW in a statement.

The Oscars' Academy Museum of Motion Pictures has announced immediate plans to alter an exhibition that was recently criticized as perpetuating Jewish stereotypes.

In a statement provided to Entertainment Weekly, a representative for the Academy Museum — owned by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, the group that bestows annual Oscars — revealed that the Academy has "heard the concerns from members of the Jewish community" regarding Hollywoodland: Jewish Founders and the Making of a Movie Capital.

The exhibit traces the role of Jewish immigrants (including early Hollywood powerhouses like Samuel Goldwyn and Louis B. Mayer) in shaping the movie industry, and reportedly presents a critical view of Hollywood's problematic past; recent criticism from a group called the United Jewish Writers, however, called the display antisemitic for "blaming only the Jews" for controversial elements in the early days of the American film industry, per The Hollywood Reporter.

"We take these concerns seriously and are committed to making changes to the exhibition to address them. We will be implementing the first set of changes immediately — they will allow us to tell these important stories without using phrasing that may unintentionally reinforce stereotypes," the Academy Museum's statement reads.

"This will also help to eliminate any ambiguities. In addition to these updates, we are convening an advisory group of experts from leading museums focused on the Jewish community, civil rights, and the history of other marginalized groups to advise us on complex questions about context and any necessary additions to the exhibition's narrative. We are deeply committed to telling these important stories in an honest, respectful, and impactful way."

The Hollywoodland exhibit also drew ire from roughly 300 industry professionals comprising the United Jewish Writers for including words like "tyrant,” “oppressive,” “womanizer,” and “predator” in descriptive text throughout its program text, according to the New York Times, which also noted that signatories included Friends star David Schwimmer and Gilmore Girls writer Amy Sherman-Palladino.

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In an interview with Los Angeles Magazine, Emmy-winning TV creator Michael Kaplan said he was "saddened" by the exhibit.

“When I saw that the attempt to correct this exclusion was accomplished with insulting and unflattering portraits of these founders, I was, again, saddened but not surprised," he continued. "The demonization of Jews has also become all too common."

Opened on May 16 at the Academy Museum's Los Angeles location, Hollywoodland was largely inspired by Neal Gabler's book An Empire of Their Own: How the Jews Invented Hollywood.

The exhibit's unveiling comes amid a particularly tense period in Hollywood, with industry figures splitting over Israel's repeated military action on Gaza following Hamas' Oct. 7 attacks on Israeli citizens. More than 37,000 people have been killed in Gaza since the conflict began, with the death toll in Israel at more than 1,100 people.

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Part of the dispute played out during and after March's Oscars ceremony, where writer/director Jonathan Glazer gave an acceptance speech for The Zone of Interest — which follows a Nazi commandant living in a large house just outside of a concentration camp. The film won an Oscar for Best International Feature.

Scores of Jewish stars, from Debra Messing to Julianna Margulies, denounced Glazer's speech in an open letter, while Tony Kushner defended Glazer for connecting the themes in his film to the crisis in Gaza.

"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," Glazer said at the Oscars.

"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?"

Read the original article on Entertainment Weekly.