Being in a disagreement with the official Auschwitz Memorial is not an ideal position for anyone, but given the circumstances, Hunters creator and co-showrunner David Weil seems to be doing it about as respectfully and thoughtfully as possible.
Over the weekend, the official Auschwitz Memorial Twitter account criticized the new Amazon series, which stars Al Pacino as the leader of a group of Nazi hunters in the 1970s, for “inventing a fake game of human chess” for a concentration camp flashback, calling it “dangerous foolishness & caricature.” Now Weil has responded, explaining his decision in a way that comes off as level-headed instead of overly defensive.
Auschwitz was full of horrible pain & suffering documented in the accounts of survivors. Inventing a fake game of human chess for @huntersonprime is not only dangerous foolishness & caricature. It also welcomes future deniers. We honor the victims by preserving factual accuracy. pic.twitter.com/UM2KYmA4cw
— Auschwitz Memorial @AuschwitzMuseum February 23, 2020
Auschwitz was the most notorious concentration camp in the world, the site of unfathomable horrors and over a million deaths in the 1940s. Yesterday, the memorial’s official account condemned Hunters and tweeted an image of the fictional chess match scene in question, saying that they “honor the victims by preserving factual accuracy.” Weil responded in a letter to Deadline, pointing out that the show was never meant to be an exact recreation of historical events and explaining that he went out of his way to avoid depicting the “specific, real acts of trauma” that occurred there.
This is obviously a tricky topic, and it’s inevitable that people are going to feel strongly about it. From my perspective, all I can do is say that I appreciate how Weil’s response actually feels like it came from an adult who seems to be aware of the responsibility that comes with tackling a story which intersects with one of the most horrible eras of human history. This is clearly something that weighed heavily on the minds of the people who made the series: when we interviewed the co-showrunner, they told us “[The Holocaust scenes] were fictionalized, in part, because we didn’t think that we would have the ability to do those stories justice. We weren’t there for that.” We can talk all day about the quality of the series your mileage may vary, but at the very least, I feel like other showrunners should use this as an example of how to thoughtfully, tactfully, and respectfully respond to controversy.
Read Weil’s statement in full below.Hunter Creator’s Response to Auschwitz Memorial’s Criticism
Years ago I visited Auschwitz and I saw the gates my...