The Jordan Peele-produced Amazon Prime series Hunters has been called out by the Auschwitz Memorial for a historically inaccurate depiction of something that never happened during the Holocaust, Variety reports. The show's opening credits include a scene from the premiere episode where a Jewish chess master is forced to play a game of chess, in which his fellow prisoners are meant to represent each piece. With each lost piece, that person would be killed.
The Auschwitz Memorial tweeted that the scene is an invention by the series that is "not only dangerous foolishness & caricature."
"Auschwitz was full of horrible pain & suffering documented in the accounts of survivors," the tweet reads. "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."
Set in the 1970s, Hunters is about a group of people living in New York City, who come together to thwart a possible genocide in their city after discovering that hundreds of high-ranking Nazis are in hiding, and planning to secretly create a Fourth Reich in the United States. The series stars Al Pacino, who plays Meyer Offerman, a Holocaust survivor and co-founder of the band of vigilantes.
David Weil, series creator and showrunner, released a statement Sunday, saying that “symbolic representations provide individuals access to an emotional and symbolic reality that allows us to better understand the experiences of the Shoah.” He also said the show "is not documentary," and it "was never purported to be.”
Weil told Business Insider that he created an 80-page "bible," which detailed each characters' backstory five years ago. He considers his grandmother, a Holocaust survivor, to be the inspiration behind the project, and even though she wasn't alive when he was writing this bible, he admits that he felt the gravity of telling their story correctly.
"My grandma's not alive anymore but to write those scenes with Jonah [played by Logan Lerman] and Ruth [Jonah's grandmother, played by Jeannie Berlin] filled me with joy," he said. "But yeah, it was incredibly difficult because I felt a responsibility to tell the story right and to honor the millions of other victims and survivors of the Holocaust."
Hunters is available to stream on Amazon Prime.