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Hollywood museum erases Jewish history

“They erased the past”: Patrons of a new major Hollywood museum question the omission of Jewish history.

By Shiryn Ghermezian, The Algemeiner

Some prominent members and donors of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences are asking why Jewish trailblazers who helped build the Hollywood industry are not spotlighted in its new museum in Los Angeles.

Anti-Defamation League CEO Jonathan Greenblatt, who attended the opening gala of the Academy Museum of Motion Pictures on Sept. 25, called the absence “a conspiracy of silence and that’s deeply upsetting” in a recent interview with Rolling Stone magazine.

“他们抹去了过去”:一家新的好莱坞大型博物馆的顾客质疑犹太历史的遗漏。 作者:Shiryn Ghermezian,The Algemeier 美国电影艺术与科学学院的一些杰出成员和捐助者正在询问为什么帮助建立好莱坞产业的犹太开拓者没有在洛杉矶的新博物馆中受到关注。 反诽谤联盟首席执行官乔纳森格林布拉特于 9 月 25 日参加了奥斯卡电影博物馆的开幕晚会,他在最近接受滚石杂志采访时称这次缺席是“一个沉默的阴谋,令人深感不安”。

“I would’ve hoped that any honest historical assessment of the motion picture industry — its origins, its development, its growth — would include the role that Jews played in building the industry from the ground up,” he added. “As I walked through, I literally turned to the person I was there with and said to him, ‘Where are the Jews?’ The omission was glaring.”

Neal Gabler wrote in the introduction to his 1988 book “An Empire of Their Own: How the Jews Invented Hollywood” that the American film industry was “founded and for more than 30 years operated by Eastern European Jews.” He added, “There were none of the impediments imposed by loftier professions and more firmly entrenched businesses to keep Jews and other undesirables out.”

Hollywood’s Jewish founding fathers included Paramount Pictures co-founder Adolph Zukor, Warner Bros. founders Harry and Jack Warner, Universal Pictures co-founder Carl Laemmle, Columbia Pictures co-founder Harry Cohn, and MGM co-founders Sam Goldwyn and Louis B. Mayer.

Israeli-American media mogul Haim Saban, who along with his wife Cheryl made the largest donation to the museum — a $50 million gift — told Rolling Stone that the couple “firmly believe that the Jewish contributions to the film industry, from its founding to today, should be highlighted.”

“我希望对电影业的任何诚实的历史评估——它的起源、发展、成长——都包括犹太人在从头开始建设这个行业中所扮演的角色,”他补充道。 “当我走过时,我真的转向和我在一起的人,对他说,‘犹太人在哪里?’这个遗漏很明显。” 尼尔·加布勒 (Neal Gabler) 在 1988 年出版的《他们自己的帝国:犹太人如何发明好莱坞》一书的导言中写道,美国电影业“由东欧犹太人创立并经营了 30 多年”。他补充说,“没有更高尚的职业和更牢固的企业强加的障碍将犹太人和其他不受欢迎的人拒之门外。” 好莱坞的犹太开国元勋包括派拉蒙影业联合创始人阿道夫·祖克、华纳兄弟创始人哈利和杰克·华纳、环球影业联合创始人卡尔·莱姆勒、哥伦比亚影业联合创始人哈里·科恩以及米高梅联合创始人萨姆·戈德温和路易斯·B·梅耶. 以色列裔美国媒体大亨海姆萨班和他的妻子谢丽尔一起向博物馆捐赠了最大的一笔 5000 万美元的礼物,他告诉滚石,这对夫妇“坚信犹太人对电影业的贡献,从成立到今天, 应突出显示。”

We shared our perspective with the Academy Museum’s management and appreciate that they are taking our feedback seriously,” he said.

Some patrons considered withdrawing future financial contributions to the institution, with one Academy member who preferred to remain unnamed saying, “You left the museum with the impression that the film industry was created 10 years ago. They erased the past. And I find it appalling.”

“As the grandson of Holocaust survivors, it’s just shocking”

The museum’s current exhibits include a retrospective on Japanese animator Hayao Miyazaki; a three-floor exhibition titled “Stories of Cinema” about moviemakers and their works; a display of pre-cinematic devices from the collection of Richard Balzer; and another that spotlights the Mount Rushmore scenery in Alfred Hitchcock’s “North by Northwest.”

Opening this year is a new exhibition called “Regeneration: Black Cinema 1898-1971,” which will explore the history of African-American filmmakers.

我们与学院博物馆的管理层分享了我们的观点,并感谢他们认真对待我们的反馈,”他说。 一些赞助人考虑撤回对该机构的未来财政捐助,一位不愿透露姓名的学院成员说:“你离开博物馆的印象是电影业是 10 年前创建的。他们抹去了过去。而且我觉得这很可怕。” “作为大屠杀幸存者的孙子,这真是令人震惊” 博物馆目前的展品包括日本动画师宫崎骏的回顾展;一个名为“电影故事”的三层楼展览,介绍电影制作人和他们的作品;理查德·巴尔泽 (Richard Balzer) 收藏的电影前设备展示;另一个突出了阿尔弗雷德希区柯克的“西北偏北”中的拉什莫尔山风景。 今年开幕的是一个名为“再生:黑人电影 1898-1971”的新展览,它将探索非裔美国电影人的历史。