Oscar-winning director Steven Spielberg stopped by “The Late Show With Stephen Colbert” on Thursday night to discuss his best picture-nominated film “The Fabelmans,” but also to deliver a message against antisemitism.
In “The Fabelmans,” a semi-autobiographical movie based on Spielberg’s childhood, Sammy Fabelman (Gabriel LaBelle) is the subject of antisemitic abuse by his school bullies. After discussing the film, Colbert asked Spielberg if he has found the rise of antisemitism in the U.S. and around the world surprising.
“I find it very, very surprising,” Spielberg responded. “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. 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. I’ve never experienced this in my entire life, especially in this country.”
Spielberg, who also directed the 1994 Holocaust drama “Schindler’s List,” went on to say that antisemitism is part of an overall trend of hate he’s observed over the past decade or so.
“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 … Hate became a kind of membership to a club that has gotten more members than I ever thought was possible in America,” he said. “And hate and antisemitism go hand in hand, you can’t separate one from the other.”
However, Spielberg does have hope that people can learn and grow — a message he hopes to convey through the story of “The Fabelmans.”
“To quote Anne Frank, I think she’s right when she said that most people are good,” Spielberg said. “And I think essentially at our core, there is goodness and there is empathy.”
Watch a clip from Spielberg’s interview with Colbert below.
Post source: variety