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Controversy Erupts Over Richard Dreyfuss’s Comments at ‘Jaws’ Event

Jaws actor Richard Dreyfuss is accused of saying mean things about women and gay people during a movie screening on Memorial Day Weekend.

A theater in Beverly, Massachusetts, called The Cabot, held a talk with Dreyfuss, 76, before showing the famous movie by Steven Spielberg on Saturday, May 25. But some people who were there said they left because of the things the Oscar winner said.

According to The Hollywood Reporter, Dreyfuss said bad things about Barbra Streisand, the #MeToo movement, and young transgender people who confirm their gender.

One person wrote on The Cabot’s Facebook page, “We walked out of his interview tonight along with hundreds of others because of his racist homophobic misogynistic rant.”

Another person wrote on X after the event, “Came here to see if #RichardDreyfuss had been canceled tonight after appearing at #TheCabot in Beverly.”

There’s a video on YouTube that shows Dreyfuss coming on stage wearing a dress over his clothes while the song “Love Story” by Taylor Swift played. He then took off the dress with the help of two other people.

The Cabot said sorry to the people who were there on Monday, May 27, as reported 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,” the venue said.

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

Controversy Erupts Over Richard Dreyfuss's Comments at 'Jaws' Event

Jaws actor Richard Dreyfuss is accused of saying mean things about women and gay people

The statement ended by saying, “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.”

Dreyfuss, who won an Oscar for best actor in 1978 for The Goodbye Girl, made headlines last year when he criticized the Academy Awards’ new rules for Best Picture candidates. These rules, which started this year, need movies to meet at least two out of four criteria to include more people of color, LGBTQIA+ people, and people with disabilities, among others, on and off camera.

On an episode of PBS’ Firing Line With Margaret Hoover in May 2023, Dreyfuss said the rules “make me vomit.”

“This is an art form,” he said. “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.”

Us Weekly has asked for comments from Dreyfuss and The Cabot.

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