Richard Dreyfuss spews transphobic hate, criticizes #MeToo movement at ‘Jaws’ screening

Dreyfuss appeared on stage wearing a floral print dress and wielding a cane with remarks that quickly escalated into a tirade deemed transphobic, sexist, and homophobic

Published - May 29, 2024 03:04 pm IST

Richard Dreyfuss

Richard Dreyfuss | Photo Credit: RICHARD SHOTWELL

Richard Dreyfuss, the celebrated actor known for his role in Steven Spileberg’s Jaws, stirred significant controversy at a screening of the film in Beverly, Massachusetts. During the Memorial Day weekend event at The Cabot theater, Dreyfuss appeared on stage wearing a floral print dress and wielding a cane, actions that set the tone for an evening described by attendees as deeply offensive.

Witnesses reported that the actor’s remarks quickly escalated into a tirade deemed transphobic, sexist, and homophobic. Dreyfuss criticized women, made derogatory comments about the #MeToo Movement, and questioned the legitimacy of transgender identities. His statements prompted outrage among the audience, leading many to walk out before the movie even began.

One attendee expressed their disgust on The Cabot’s Facebook page, criticizing the venue for not vetting Dreyfuss’s act. “How could The Cabot not have vetted his act better?” the post read. “Apparently he has a reputation for spewing this kind of racist, homophobic, misogynistic bullcrap.”

In response to the backlash, The Cabot issued a public apology. The statement, shared with attendees and obtained by Deadline, emphasized that Dreyfuss’s views do not align with the theater’s values of inclusivity and respect. The Cabot acknowledged the distress caused and took responsibility for not anticipating the controversial direction of Dreyfuss’s remarks.

Despite the apology, frustration lingered among the audience. Some attendees expressed dissatisfaction over the lack of a refund, noting that the evening failed to deliver the expected lighthearted celebration of the iconic film. “This was offensive and we demand a refund,” one commenter wrote.

The incident follows similar remarks made by Dreyfuss at a prior Jaws screening in Portsmouth, New Hampshire, indicating a pattern of controversial statements. Dreyfuss, who has previously criticized Oscar inclusivity rules and expressed strong views on gender issues, has not publicly responded to the latest controversy.

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