Richard Dreyfuss Takes Stage At Massachusetts ‘Jaws’ Screening Wearing Dress Before Delivering Rant Described As Transphobic; Venue Apologizes

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After taking the stage in a housedress and, at one point, swinging his cane like a baseball bat at a Massachusetts holiday weekend screening of Jaws, Richard Dreyfuss went on to deliver a rant described by attendees as transphobic, sexist and homophobic.

“This was disgusting,” posted one attendee on the Facebook page of The Cabot theater in Beverly, Massachusetts. “How could the Cabot not have vetted his act better. Apparently (I found out too late), he has a reputation for spewing this kind of racist, homophobic, misogynistic bullcrap.”

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The incident occurred on Saturday night prior to the film screening. In a brief YouTube video taken by an audience member, Dreyfuss can be seen walking onto the stage for a Q&A wearing a floral print dress and shaking his hips in a mocking way.

At one point, as he slowly makes his way to his seat assisted by a cane, he wields the cane like a baseball bat toward the crowd.

Social media accounts of the event suggest that the trouble began when Dreyfuss started talking about his Nuts producer Barbra Streisand, calling her a “genius” but that women, in the commenter’s account of the event, “are so passive that’s why the movie sucked.” From there Dreyfuss apparently made disparaging remarks about the MeToo Movement, then “started down the road of how you shouldn’t be listening to some 10 year old who says they want to be a boy instead of a girl.”

“Jesus Christ what an explosion,” the commenter continued. “Crowd was shouting at him and most walked out before the movie even started. Talk about the movie asshole.”

In a statement of apology sent by the Cabot to attendees and obtained by Deadline, the venue wrote, “We are aware of, and share serious concerns, following the recent event with Richard Dreyfuss prior to a screening of the film Jaws at The Cabot. 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.

“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.”

Responded an attendee on Facebook, “While the apology from The Cabot to their patrons seems sincere, no refund has been offered. We did NOT get what we paid for (which we all assumed would be a light, fun evening listening to stories and anecdotes about RD’s time on the Vineyard making Jaws.) This was offensive and we demand a refund.”

Deadline has reached out to a rep for Dreyfuss for comment.

Dreyfuss apparently made similar comments at a Friday night Jaws screening at The Music Hall in Portsmouth, New Hampshire. “I live in Mass, but the Cabot showing was all booked so I saw him in NH on May 24,” a Facebook commenter wrote. “He made anti-gay remarks that night too.”

Wrote another Cabot audience member, “richard dreyfuss is an embarrassment to society. I walked out tonight because of his small minded bigoted view of women and choice.”

Dreyfuss has been an outspoken critic of Oscar inclusivity rules and trans youth affirming their gender. Last year on PBS’ Firing Line, the Goodbye Girl Oscar-winner said diversity efforts made by The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences “make me vomit.”

“We’re so fragile that we can’t have our feelings hurt,” he said. “We don’t know how to stand up and bop the bully in the face.”

At the end of Dreyfuss’ Q&A at the Cabot, also caught on cellphone video, the actor plugs his 2022 book One Thought Scares Me, saying “Fifty years ago without telling anybody they took civics out of the curriculum at public schools in America. We have no knowledge of who the hell we are and if we don’t get it back soon we’re all gonna die. We have to make sure that your kids are not the last generation of Americans, and you know exactly what I’m talking about.”

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