Richard Dreyfuss is jumping on the transphobe train

Hollywood has its problems, but it’s a different landscape for marginalized representation than it was 50 years ago. Case in point: people these days have less patience for long retired stars like Richard Dreyfuss lamenting the loss of some imaginary golden age of filmmaking.

If you’re wondering who Richard Dreyfuss is—congrats on having good taste in 70s films. The actor is most well known for his work with Stephen Spielberg, namely in the 1975 blockbuster Jaws. More recently, he’s better known for subjecting an audience at a Jaws revival screening to an unhinged misogynistic and transphobic rant.

It all began with a cryptic email sent by the Cabot Theater in Beverley, Massachusetts apologizing for Drefyuss’s behavior at a live event. A user shared a screencap in a now viral post and said, “I need to know what Richard Dreyfuss said at a jaws screening last night that inspired this email.”

The joke responses turned out to be eerily close to the truth.

Apparently, the 76-year-old actor showed up on stage wearing a dress and performed an improvised dance to Taylor Swift’s “Love Story.” After he was torn out of the dress by stage hands, Dreyfuss talked about literally anything other than Jaws, shifting from one horrendous take to another.

Dreyfuss brought up Barabara Streisand, who produced and co-starred with him in the 1987 film Nuts. While he allegedly called her a “genius,” he added that he “didn’t listen to her because she is a woman and women shouldn’t have that sort of power.” He also blamed her for the movie’s disastrous box office performance, saying that women “are so passive, that’s why the movie sucked.”

He ranted about the MeToo movement, diversity initiatives in Hollywood, the lack of civics education in schools and trans youth. As reported by the Boston Globe, he said, “It’s not okay because when the kid’s 15, she’s going to say, ‘I’m an octopus.’”

No one was particularly surprised at hearing such regressive opinions from a Hollywood relic. But everyone was baffled at how such vindictive rants at such an inappropriate place and time were supposed to come across as an elder’s words of wisdom.

Dreyfuss has yet to comment on his remarks, but the Cabot Theater has pledged to host a talkback session with community members.

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