Richard Dreyfuss accused of sexist and homophobic rant at Jaws screening

Hollywood star Richard Dreyfuss is facing backlash after he allegedly launched into a sexist and homophobic rant at a special screening of the movie, Jaws.

Saturday’s event, “An Evening With Richard Dreyfuss”, at the Cabot Performing Arts Center, in Beverly, Massachusetts, was billed as a screening of the 1975 movie and a discussion with the actor, who starred in it.

However those who attended the event later reported online that the Oscar-winning actor had used sexist and homophobic language which caused more than a dozen people to walk out.

One wrote in reply to a Facebook post from The Cabot: “We walked out of his interview tonight along with hundreds of others because of his racist homophobic misogynistic rant.”

Another attendee suggested the event be renamed “An Evening of Misogyny and Homophobia With Richard Dreyfuss.” “Disappointing doesn’t even begin to cover it,” the person posted.

According to another social media user, who said her girlfriend’s parents attended the event, Dreyfuss made offensive remarks including disparaging comments about Barbara Streisand, his co-star in the 1987 thriller Nuts. He reportedly also described director Steven Spielberg as “a genius but an idiot”.

According to X user @sasysquatchgirl, who claimed to be at the event: “In a flip of a switch [Dreyfuss] started to talk about a movie he did with Barbara Streisand whom he insulted, then literally insulted all women. Then he insulted trans kids, I can’t even begin to say how terrible it was.”

Some people allegedly booed the actor and then walked out, they added.

The Independent has contacted representatives of Dreyfuss for comment on the incident.

In a statement shared with The Hollywood Reporter on Monday, Cabot Performing Arts Center apologized to attendees.

“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.”

The statement continued: “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.”

The Independent has contacted The Cabot for comment.

Dreyfuss starred in Jaws alongside Roy Scheider and Robert Shaw. The film, directed by Steven Spielberg, was nominated for Best Picture at the 1976 Academy Awards. The actor is also known for his performances in other hit 70s movies like American Graffiti and Close Encounters of a Third Kind, also directed by Spielberg.