Major Hollywood Stars Advocate for Inclusion of Jews in Academy’s Representation Standards

A group of prominent Hollywood figures, including Tiffany Haddish, Josh Gad, David Schwimmer, and others, has rallied together in a call for the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences to include Jews in its representation and inclusion standards. The Academy, responsible for the prestigious Academy Awards, is facing criticism for overlooking Jews as an underrepresented group.
In a powerful open letter signed by nearly 300 industry influencers, the actors expressed their support for the Academy’s efforts in promoting diverse storytelling but emphasized that excluding Jews perpetuates misunderstanding and antisemitism. The letter, obtained by CNN, challenges the assumption that Jews are overrepresented in films and calls for their recognition as an essential component of underrepresented groups.
The Academy introduced new diversity initiatives in 2020, requiring films to submit confidential inclusion data to be considered for the coveted Best Picture category. The standards identified “underrepresented groups” encompassing women, LGBTQ+, individuals with disabilities, and various racial or ethnic groups. However, the exclusion of Jews sparked concerns about perpetuating myths and erasing the unique identity of the Jewish community.
The advocacy group Jew in the City’s Hollywood Bureau for Jewish Representation spearheaded the letter, highlighting the historical misunderstanding of Jews and the need for equal treatment. Allison Josephs, the founder and executive director of the group, noted that while other communities have benefited from inclusion and authentic storytelling, Jews have been left out. She sees the letter as a catalyst for change, suggesting that top voices in Hollywood demanding equal treatment could mark a significant shift.
Signatories of the letter include a diverse range of industry professionals, such as “Friends” creator Marta Kauffman, producer Greg Berlanti, activist Noa Tishby, and comedian Michael Rapaport. The letter contends that excluding Jewish people from the Academy’s Representation and Inclusion Standards is discriminatory, invalidating their historic and genetic identity. The signatories urge the Academy’s leadership to rectify this oversight promptly.
The call for inclusion reflects a growing awareness within Hollywood about the importance of accurately representing all communities.