It was to be Al Pacino’s first appearance in a television series but Amazon Prime original, Hunters, has been slapped with controversy this week for “dangerous” historical inaccuracies. Set in a 1970’s America, the series follows a group of vigilantes as they hunt down underground Nazi’s in an act of revenge for their past crimes. From the mind of executive producer and Oscar-winner Jordan Peele, Auschwitz Memorial has called out a violent scene of torture.
While the concentration camp was the location of innumerable deaths, the dramatisation of such events has been extremely misleading. The scene in question is shown in all 10 episodes of the opening credits as well as in detail in the first episode. It depicts a Jewish chess master who is held captive by Nazis and forced to play a chess game where the pieces are presented by fellow prisoners. Each time a piece is taken, a person is instead killed – something that never occurred within the camp.
Taking to Twitter, Auschwitz Memorial published, “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 a dangerous foolishness & caricature. It also welcomes future deniers. We honor the victims by preserving factual accuracy.”
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
Replying to a users comment, the memorial also pointed out that they are available for consultation to filmmakers, directors, writers, journalists and more to assist in presenting factually correct information.
While audience reviews sit at 3 stars out of 5 on IMDb, television critics have also slammed the series. The Guardian referred to Hunters as “dangerously insensitive” while Variety also dubbed the Amazon Prime show as an “exercise in genre pastiche, blending ultraviolence with brutally unfunny comedy” and says that “its nastiness, even as deployed against the world’s worst people, fugitives from justice, somehow comes to feel more like abuse of the audience.”
Amazon is yet to make a comment. Stay tuned.