Amid Outcry, Academy Museum to Revise Exhibit on Hollywood's Jewish Roots

When the Academy Museum of Motion Pictures opened in 2021, it was criticized for omitting Hollywood’s Jewish founders from its exhibits celebrating the film industry’s diversity.

In response to the criticism, the museum launched a new permanent exhibition in May 2024, highlighting the contributions of Jewish immigrants like Samuel Goldwyn and Louis B. Mayer.

The new exhibition faced backlash for its portrayal of Hollywood’s Jewish founders, using terms like “tyrant,” “oppressive,” “womanizer,” and “predator,” which some critics labeled as antisemitic.

A group called United Jewish Writers sent an open letter to the museum, signed by over 300 Hollywood professionals, condemning the exhibition's language.

The museum acknowledged the concerns and announced that it would make immediate changes to the exhibition to avoid reinforcing negative stereotypes.

The letter's signatories included notable figures such as entertainment executive Casey Wasserman, actor David Schwimmer, and TV writer Amy Sherman-Palladino

Alma Har'el, an Israeli American film director and former member of the museum’s inclusivity committee, resigned after touring the exhibition, highlighting broader discontent within the industry.

In response to the criticism, the museum plans to convene a group to advise on issues concerning the Jewish community, civil rights, and the history of other marginalized groups.