Richard Dreyfuss Stuns in Dress at 'Jaws' Screening Event

Veteran actor Richard Dreyfuss sparks backlash at film event

by Zain ul Abedin
Richard Dreyfuss Stuns in Dress at 'Jaws' Screening Event
© Presley Ann/Getty Images

Richard Dreyfuss, the acclaimed actor known for his role in the classic 1975 film "Jaws," stirred controversy during a recent appearance at The Cabot in Beverly, Massachusetts. At 78, Dreyfuss was expected to reminisce about his illustrious career during a Q&A session followed by a screening.

However, the event took an unexpected turn when he appeared on stage wearing a floral print blue dress and performed an impromptu dance to Taylor Swift's "Love Story," theatrically brandishing his cane. Tickets for the event were priced up to $300, reflecting the high anticipation among attendees.

The atmosphere shifted as Dreyfuss made contentious remarks about the parents of transgender children, suggesting that allowing children to transition was indicative of poor parenting. He controversially stated, "It's not okay because when the kid's 15, she's going to say, 'I'm an octopus.'

" These comments, coupled with his attire, sparked a mixed reaction from the audience, some of whom found his behaviour offensive. Diane Wolf, a ticket-holder, expressed her dismay at his comments.

Dreyfuss Continues Controversy

As the evening progressed, Dreyfuss shed the dress for a suit jacket but continued to alienate many attendees with further remarks.

The Hollywood Reporter noted that he also made disparaging comments about Barbra Streisand, his co-star in the 1987 movie "Nuts." Despite the uproar, Dreyfuss has not publicly addressed his behaviour at the event. His son, journalist Ben Dreyfuss, humorously referenced the incident on social media, hinting at long-standing tensions by joking about why he had refused to give his father the password to his Twitter account for years.

In response to the fallout, The Cabot issued an apology to those offended by the remarks, stating, "We deeply regret that Mr. Dreyfuss's comments during the event were not in line with the values of inclusivity we uphold." They acknowledged their responsibility for not foreseeing the contentious direction the conversation took and expressed their commitment to maintaining a welcoming and inclusive environment.

This incident adds to a series of controversial public appearances by Dreyfuss, including his criticism last year of the new diversity and inclusion requirements at the Academy Awards, which he claimed made him "vomit." He has also defended Laurence Olivier's blackface performance in the 1965 film "Othello," arguing against what he perceives as restrictive moral standards in the arts.