(CNN) — Steven Spielberg says he is finding the rise of antisemitism in the world today “kind of daring us to defy it.”

The director’s Oscar-nominated film “The Fabelmans” is a semi-autobiographical movie about Sammy Fabelman, played by Gabriel LaBelle, who faces antisemitic abuse by school bullies, which happened to Spielberg in real life.

He appeared on “The Late Show” on Thursday, where he told host Stephen Colbert he sees growing antisemitism in the US and around the world.

“I find it very, very surprising,” Spielberg said. “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 continued: “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. And hate and antisemitism go hand in hand, you can’t separate one from the other.”

He quoted Anne Frank to Colbert.

“I think she’s right when she said that most people are good,” he said. “And I think essentially at our core, there is goodness and there is empathy.”

The-CNN-Wire™ & © 2023 Cable News Network, Inc., a Time Warner Company. All rights reserved.

Join our Newsletter for the latest news right to your inbox