Richard Dreyfuss mocks trans youth in bizarre rant at “Jaws” film screening

Richard Dreyfuss speaks after a showing of Dreyfuss's latest movie Astronaut at the Las Cruces Film Festival on Wednesday, March 4, 2020 in Las Cruces. Astronaut Lc Film Fest 17
Richard Dreyfuss in 2020 Photo: Nathan J Fish/Sun-News, Las Cruces Sun-News via Imagn Content Services, LLC via IMAGN

Richard Dreyfuss, the 76-year-old Academy Award-winning actor, allegedly made transphobic comments during a May 25 showing of his 1975 shark horror film Jaws at the Cabot Theater in Beverly, Massachusetts. Theater management apologized for his comments, saying that they do not reflect the venue’s views.

“[He] started sharing his views on … how you shouldn’t be listening to some 10-year-old who says they want to be a boy instead of a girl,” one self-described attendee wrote on X. “Jesus Christ, what an explosion. Crowd was shouting at him and most walked out before the movie even started.”

“It’s not okay because when the kid’s 15, she’s going to say, ‘I’m an octopus,’” he reportedly added, according to The Boston Globe.

At the beginning of the talk, Dreyfuss walked onstage in a dress to a Taylor Smith song. Assistants eventually helped him remove the dress, and he put on a white sport coat and began posing for the applauding audience.

Dreyfuss also reportedly said that singer Barbra Streisand is a “genius,” but he “didn’t listen to her because she is a woman and women shouldn’t have that sort of power.”

An attendee of the event named Sarah Hogg told the aforementioned publication, “I’m queer, I’m nonbinary. This is personal to me. It’s one of those moments where you feel like you’re having an out-of-body experience. It was horrifying.”

In an emailed statement to the event’s attendees, Cabot executive director J. Casey Soward wrote, “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.“

“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,” Cabot added.

The theater has promised to hold a talkback session with community members to avoid a future similar incident.

Dreyfuss’s son, Harry Dreyfuss, was one of numerous men to accuse gay actor Kevin Spacey of sexual assault, claiming that Spacey fondled him in front of his father when he was 18 years old.

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