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Richard Dreyfuss Slammed for ‘Jaws’ Screening Comments

Richard Dreyfuss Slammed for ‘Jaws’ Screening Comments

A Massachusetts theater is apologizing to its patrons who came to attend a screening of Jaws with star Richard Dreyfuss but instead were subjected to alleged sexist and homophobic comments from the actor over Memorial Day weekend.

Attendees who headed to The Cabot Theater in Beverly, Mass. on Saturday for what was billed as “An Evening With Richard Dreyfuss + Jaws Screening” were likely anticipating some amusing or insightful anecdotes from the actor about filming the classic Steven Spielberg action blockbuster.

Instead, the Oscar winner went on a freeform rant that, according to social media posts from those in attendance, began while he was speaking about Barbara Streisand and moved into his bigoted perspective on trans youth, the Academy Awards’ inclusivity rules and then on to trans kids affirming their gender.

Following the event, attendees quickly took to social media to criticize the actor’s remarks, with some saying they even walked out during the event.

One attendee and user named Rogue Mama wrote, “Came here to see if Richard Dreyfuss had been canceled tonight after appearing at #TheCabot in Beverly.” Another suggested ​​an alternative title for the night’s event: “An Evening of Misogyny and Homophobia With Richard Dreyfuss. Disappointing doesn’t even begin to cover it.”

One person wrote in the comment section of the venue’s latest Facebook post, “We walked out of his interview tonight along with hundred of others because of his racist homophobic mysogynistic rant.” Another person called Dreyfuss’ comments “disgusting” and “offensive.”

On Monday, the venue apologized to attendees for Dreyfuss’ remarks, writing in a statement obtained by The Hollywood Reporter: “We are aware of, and share serious concerns, following the recent event with Richard Dreyfuss prior to a screening of the film Jaws at The Cabot. The views expressed by Mr. Dreyfuss do not reflect the values of inclusivity and respect that we uphold as an organization. We deeply regret the distress that this has caused to many of our patrons.“

We regret that an event that was meant to be a conversation to celebrate an iconic movie instead became a platform for political views. We take full responsibility for the oversight in not anticipating the direction of the conversation and for the discomfort it caused to many patrons.

We are in active dialogue with our patrons about their experience and are committed to learning from this event how to better enact our mission of entertaining, educating and inspiring our community.”

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Dreyfuss appeared on Friday at a similar event to The Cabot Q&A + screening at The Music Hall in Portsmouth, New Hampshire. Attendees also criticized him for his conduct and language there, which was described as sexist and mean.

In May 2023, while appearing on PBS, Dreyfuss made comments similar to those made at The Cabot regarding the Film Academy’s inclusion rules.

“They make me vomit,” he said on Firing Line. “No one should be telling me as an artist that I have to give in to the latest, most current idea of what morality is. What are we risking? Are we really risking hurting people’s feelings? You can’t legislate that. You have to let life be life and I’m sorry, I don’t think there is a minority or majority in the country that has to be catered to like that. … This is an art form. It’s also a form of commerce and it makes money, but it’s an art. And no one should be telling me as an artist that I have to give in to the latest, most current idea of what morality is.”

The Hollywood Reporter has reached out to Dreyfuss’ rep for comment and to The Cabot staff for further comment.

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