Richard Dreyfuss Sparks Outrage, Massachusetts Theater Apologizes for His ‘Offensive and Distressing’ Remarks at ‘Jaws’ Screening

In recent years, “Jaws” star Richard Dreyfuss has come under fire for speaking out on subjects such as Oscar diversity requirements and the use of Blackface.

At a “Jaws” retrospective screening in Beverly, Mass. on Saturday evening, he appeared to take his inflammatory remarks even further as he ranted about subjects reported to include trans people, Barbra Streisand, the MeToo movement and women in general. As attendee Diane Wolfe described it to the Boston Globe, “[Dreyfuss] said that the parents of trans youth, allowing them to transition, was bad parenting and that someday those kids might change their minds.”

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In a statement, Cabot executive director J. Casey Soward apologized for not anticipating that Dreyfuss might say provocative things on stage.

“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,” Soward said. “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 Cabot also sent an email to those who purchased tickets to the event according to New Bedford, Mass. radio station WBSM, and apologized for comments it characterized as “offensive and distressing.” According to WBSM, which obtained the email from a patron, it read:

“Dear Cabot Patrons,

I am writing to address an important matter concerning last night’s event with Richard Dreyfuss at The Cabot.

We deeply regret that Mr. Dreyfuss’s comments during the event were not in line with the values of inclusivity and respect that we uphold at The Cabot. We understand that his remarks were distressing and offensive to many of our community members, and for that, we sincerely apologize.

At The Cabot, we are committed to fostering a welcoming and inclusive environment for all members of our community. The views expressed by Mr. Dreyfuss do not reflect our beliefs, and we do not endorse them in any way.

We take full responsibility for the oversight in not anticipating the direction of the conversation and for any discomfort it caused.

We are taking immediate steps to ensure that such an incident does not happen again. This includes more rigorous vetting of our event participants and more proactive communication strategies to keep our audience informed.

Thank you for your understanding and continued support of The Cabot.

We value your feedback and are dedicated to learning from this experience to better serve our community.”

In a video an attendee posted to YouTube, Dreyfuss comes onstage to applause while a Taylor Swift song plays, wearing a dress over his clothes, which stagehands then remove before he sits down.

Facebook commenters expressed anger over his comments, characterizing them as “vile, dehumanizing, abhorrent things about trans youth, LGBTQ+ people, women and survivors of sexual violence.”

“A young family with a 10 year old daughter had to leave,” recounted another commenter. Dozens of patrons reportedly walked out of the venue.

After the screening, another video posted to YouTube. shows him talking about a book he published in 2022. “Why don’t you tell us about your new book?” the moderator says. “It’s called ‘One Thought Scares Me,'” Dreyfuss answers, “And it’s about how 50 years ago, without telling anyone, they took civics out of the curriculum. Which means we have no knowledge of who the hell we are.” His remarks are met with applause from the remaining moviegoers.

Dreyfuss could not immediately be reached for comment during the holiday weekend. Representatives for the Cabot did not respond to a request for comment on Monday.

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