MOVIES

What did Richard Dreyfuss do? His controversial Jaws screening, explained

After the event, J. Casey Soward, the Cabot’s executive director, specifically apologized to patrons for not realizing that Richard Dreyfuss might have skewed toward a hateful direction. “We regret that an event that was meant to be a conversation to celebrate an iconic movie instead became a platform for political views,” Soward’s statement read (via Variety). “We take full responsibility for the oversight in not anticipating the direction of the conversation and for the discomfort it caused to many patrons.”

In most cases, apologizing for not knowing in advance what a person is going to say might seem like PR overkill. However, there’s a reason behind Soward’s decision. The untold truth of Richard Dreyfuss might paint a picture of a complicated and talented man, but he’s also earned a reputation of giving highly controversial comments. 

Much of this stems from a 2023 appearance on PBS’ “Firing Line With Margaret Hoover,” where he berated the Academy Awards’ new diversity and inclusion standards and defended Laurence Olivier’s use of blackface in 1965’s “Othello.” Combine this with his commentary at the Cabot, and further special guest gigs in Dreyfuss’ immediate future seem somewhat unlikely. 

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