After His Oscar Win, Taika Waititi Reminds Us Nazis Belong in Jail

Taika Waititi after winning his Best Adapted Screenplay Oscar for Jojo Rabbit.
Taika Waititi after winning his Best Adapted Screenplay Oscar for Jojo Rabbit.
Photo: Rachel Luna (Getty Images)

One of the many excellent choices made at the Academy Awards last night was writer/director Taika Waititi winning Best Adapted Screenplay for Jojo Rabbit. Waititi has become something of a legend in the last few years with his work on What We Do in the Shadows, Thor: Ragnarok, The Mandalorian, and more. But that rise to superstardom reached its highest peak yet with his very first Oscar.


After his win, Waititi spoke to the assembled press about the origin of his film, about a young Nazi boy who learns acceptance during World War II despite having Adolf Hitler (played by Waititi) as an imaginary friend. Waititi noted that he’s a bit incredulous about the state of things in 2020.

“Us making the film was in response to a resurgence of hate and intolerance and hate speech. And here’s the thing: At the end of [World Ward II] there was a very clear rule, if you were a Nazi, you went to jail,” Waititi said backstage at the Oscars. “Now the rules have changed a bit. If you’re a Nazi, feel free to have a rally down in the town square and you can invite all your mates.”

He continued, “So something’s changed and something’s not right. And we have forgotten the rules, I guess, so I feel like this is the perfect time for a film like this. I feel like the film has become more important and more relevant today.”

“Which is a sad thing, but also good for me,” Waititi concluded, holding up his Oscar, ending a serious sentiment with a joke as he’s been known to do. Here’s the full clip via Variety.


Next up for Waititi is the Thor sequel, Love and Thunder—and maybe a Star Wars movie? We aren’t quite sure.

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Entertainment Reporter. NYU Cinema Studies Alum. Formerly Premiere, EW, Us Weekly, and /Film. AP Award-Winning Film Critic & CCA member. Loves Star Wars, posters, Legos, and often all three at once.



To me the safe rules are:

  • If you do terrible things to others - jail, assuming it’s bad enough an proven beyond reasonable doubt.
  • If you say terrible things to and about others - Fuck You

Just being a Nazi just means you’re a shithead, not that you automatically belong in jail. It’s when folks beat, murder, etc. that it’s time for jail or whatever.