Massachusetts theater apologizes after alleged remarks by actor Richard Dreyfuss

Richard Dreyfuss

BEVERLY, Mass. — A Massachusetts theater has apologized for alleged remarks spoken Saturday by Academy Award-winning actor Richard Dreyfuss.

>> Read more trending news

Dreyfuss, 76, was speaking at The Cabot Theater in Beverly during “An Evening with Richard Dreyfuss + Jaws Screening,” WFXT-TV reported.

Instead of receiving insights about “Jaws,” the 1975 blockbuster film that won three Oscars and featured Dreyfuss in the role of Matt Hooper, the actor allegedly used a question-and-answer session to make comments about Barbra Streisand, the inclusion rules of the Academy Awards and transgender issues, according to Variety.

According to a YouTube video purportedly filmed at the event, the actor took the stage wearing a dress and dancing to Taylor Swift’s hit “Love Story,” according to The Hollywood Reporter. He then is assisted by two people as he steps out of the dress and puts on a jacket, the entertainment news website reported.

Other than posts on social media, it was unclear what Dreyfuss said during the session. In a statement to its patrons, The Cabot Theater wrote that the actor’s statements were “not in line” with the organization’s “values of inclusivity,” WFXT reported.

“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,” spokesperson J. Casey Soward said in a statement, according to Variety. “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 immediately be reached for comment, Variety reported.

It is not the first time that Dreyfuss, who won an Oscar for Best Actor in the 1977 film, “The Goodbye Girl,” has made comments similar to those allegedly spoken on Saturday, according to The Hollywood Reporter.

During an interview on PBS’ “Firing Line” in May 2023, Dreyfuss criticized the Film Academy’s inclusion rules.

“They make me vomit,” the actor said, according to The Hollywood Reporter. “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. What are we risking? Are we really risking hurting people’s feelings? You can’t legislate that. You have to let life be life and I’m sorry, I don’t think there is a minority or majority in the country that has to be catered to like that.

“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.”

The actor has also been an advocate for reviving civics in schools, creating The Dreyfuss Civics Initiative, a nonprofit, in 2006.

Comments on this article

mobile apps

Everything you love about and more! Tap on any of the buttons below to download our app.

amazon alexa

Enable our Skill today to listen live at home on your Alexa Devices!