Richard Dreyfuss Slammed for Sexist, Transphobic Rant at ‘Jaws’ Screening

Gregg DeGuire/Getty
Gregg DeGuire/Getty

Richard Dreyfuss’ appearance at a Massachusetts theater’s screening of Jaws went off the rails when the actor went on a sexist and homophobic rant, prompting the venue to issue an apology.

“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 Cabot theater in Beverly, Massachusetts, said in a statement provided to The Hollywood Reporter on Monday. “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.”

On Saturday, The Cabot hosted a screening of the 1975 blockbuster along with a Q&A discussion with Dreyfuss, 76, who starred in the film. However, things took a sharp turn when, according to social media posts from attendees, the Oscar-winning actor began sharing offensive comments about women and trans youth.

According to one attendee, Dreyfuss called Barbra Streisand a “genius” but said he “didn’t listen to her because she is a woman and women shouldn’t have that power.” The same attendee said Dreyfuss—who was clad in a housedress and waving a cane, according to Deadline—then claimed that “you shouldn’t be listening to some 10-year-old who says they want to be a boy instead of a girl.”

More attendees shared on the theater’s Facebook page that they walked out of the event because of Dreyfuss’ inflammatory remarks. One person wrote, “We walked out of his interview tonight along with hundred[s] of others because of his racist homophobic mysogynistic [sic] rant.” Another attendee posted: “richard dreyfuss is an embarrassment to society. I walked out tonight because of his small minded bigoted view of women and choice.”

The Daily Beast has reached out to Dreyfuss’ representative for comment.

This isn’t the first time Dreyfuss’ views have landed him in hot water. Last year, during an interview on PBS’s Firing Line, the actor blasted the Academy of Motion Pictures Arts and Sciences’ new diversity and inclusion rules while defending actors using blackface.

“They make me vomit,” he said of the academy’s rules. “Because 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.”

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