Richard Dreyfuss Sparks Outrage, Massachusetts Theater Apologizes for His ‘Offensive and Distressing’ Remarks at ‘Jaws’ Screening

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In recent times, Richard Dreyfuss, renowned for his role in the iconic film “Jaws,” has faced criticism for his outspoken opinions on various subjects, including Oscar diversity requirements and the sensitive issue of Blackface.

At a retrospective screening of “Jaws” in Beverly, Mass., on Saturday evening, Dreyfuss appeared to escalate his controversial remarks, touching on topics that reportedly included transgender individuals, Barbra Streisand, the MeToo movement, and women in general. Attendee Diane Wolfe described the event to the Boston Globe, recounting Dreyfuss’s comments on parenting decisions regarding transgender youth, which she characterized as disparaging.

In response to the uproar caused by Dreyfuss’s remarks, J. Casey Soward, executive director of the Cabot, issued an apology, acknowledging that the event had veered into unexpected territory. Soward expressed regret for the discomfort experienced by many patrons and pledged to learn from the incident to ensure the venue upholds its commitment to inclusivity and respect.

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The Cabot also reached out to ticket holders via email, apologizing for Dreyfuss’s comments, which were deemed offensive and distressing. The venue assured patrons that such remarks did not align with its values and emphasized its dedication to fostering a welcoming and inclusive environment.

A video posted on YouTube captured moments from the event, including Dreyfuss’s entrance to applause and a Taylor Swift song, accompanied by a costume change before he took the stage. Audience members expressed anger and disappointment over his remarks, with some characterizing them as dehumanizing and abhorrent. Reports indicated that several patrons walked out during the screening, including a family with a young daughter.

Following the screening, another video surfaced on YouTube showing Dreyfuss discussing his recently published book, “One Thought Scares Me,” which delves into the removal of civics from the curriculum 50 years ago. Despite the controversy surrounding his earlier comments, Dreyfuss’s remarks about his book received applause from the remaining audience members.

As of the holiday weekend, Dreyfuss and representatives for the Cabot had not responded to requests for comment. The incident underscores the importance of careful vetting of event participants and proactive communication strategies to uphold principles of inclusivity and respect in public forums.