Richard Dreyfuss’ Sexist Rant Sparks Apology From Massachusetts Theatre

The Cabot says the “Jaws” actors’ comments were “not in line with the values of inclusivity and respect” that the venue upholds

Richard Dreyfuss (Photo credit: Getty images)
Richard Dreyfuss (Photo credit: Getty images)

Richard Dreyfuss’ appearance at a Massachusetts theatre prior to a screening of 1975 hit “Jaws” went awry when the actor went on a sexist and homophobic rant, prompting the venue to apologize to patrons.

“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,” executive director J. Casey Soward said in a statement shared with TheWrap. “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 “American Graffiti” star was hosted by the Cabot on Saturday, May 25 for what was advertised as “An Evening With Richard Dreyfuss” when, according to social media posts from those in attendance, Dreyfuss began sharing offensive comments towards women and the LGBTQ community. According to one attendee, Dreyfuss applauded Barbra Streisand as a “genius” but explained that he “didn’t listen to her” because “women shouldn’t have that power.”

The same attendee said Dreyfuss shared his views on the #MeToo movement — though no details were given regarding what was said — and explained why “you shouldn’t be listening to some 10-year-old boy who says they want to be a boy instead of a girl.”

Dreyfuss first appeared on stage in a dress and danced before putting his blazer on and sitting down with the interviewer — shown in a video here — in a move that two Reddit users said mocked the trans community, with one saying “He started the evening mocking trans people, and then further leaned into his bigotry as the interview progressed.”

Two attendees shared on the venue’s Facebook page that they walked out of the event “along with hundreds of others because of [Dreyfuss’] racist, homophobic [and] misogynistic rant” while the other attendee left the Q&A due to “his small minded bigoted view of women and choice.”

“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,” the statement continued. “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 could not be reached for comment.

Dreyfuss has previously been outspoken regarding his thoughts on such topics, recently saying the Academy’s new diversity and inclusion standards “make [him] vomit” as he defended performances using blackface.

“It’s an art. 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,” Dreyfuss said on PBS’ “The Firing Line With Margaret Hoover” in May 2023. “What are we risking? Are we really risking hurting people’s feelings? You can’t legislate that. You have to let life be life. I’m sorry, I don’t think there is a minority or majority in the country that has to be catered to like that.”

Comments

One response to “Richard Dreyfuss’ Sexist Rant Sparks Apology From Massachusetts Theatre”

  1. Jim Avatar
    Jim

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