Oscar-winning director Steven Spielberg expressed shock at the rise of antisemitism in a lengthy interview with “The Late Show” host Stephen Colbert that aired on Thursday.
“I find it very, very surprising,” Spielberg, who is Jewish, told Colbert during a discussion about his new semi-autobiographical film “The Fabelmans.” In the movie, nominated for Best Picture at the 2023 Academy Awards, lead character Sammy (Gabriel LaBelle) experiences antisemitic abuse at school.
“Antisemitism has always been there, It’s either been just around the corner and slightly out of sight, but always lurking, or it has been much more overt like in Germany in the ’30s,” Spielberg, who directed the Holocaust film “Schindler’s List,” told Colbert.
“But not since Germany in the ’30s have I witnessed antisemitism no longer lurking, but standing proud with hands on hips like Hitler and Mussolini, kind of daring us to defy it,” he continued. “I’ve never experienced this in my entire life, especially in this country.”
Colbert said it was “disturbing” and “heartbreaking.”
“Somehow, the marginalizing of people that aren’t part of some kind of a majority race is something that has been creeping up on us for years and years and years,” said Spielberg.
“Hate became a kind of membership to a club that has gotten more members than I ever thought was possible in America. And hate and antisemitism go hand in hand — you can’t separate one from the other,” he added.
The famed filmmaker said he wasn’t out of hope, though.
“To quote Anne Frank, I think she’s right when she said in most people there’s good,” he told Colbert. “And I think essentially at our core, there is goodness and there is empathy.”
Watch the interview:
And the trailer for “The Fabelmans” here: