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Published on May 28, 2024
Richard Dreyfuss Slammed for "Jaws" Event Outburst in Beverly, Theater Apologizes for Bigotry BashSource: Wikipedia/John Manard for Super Festivals/Galaxy Con from Ft. Lauderdale, USA, CC BY 2.0, via Wikimedia Commons

BEVERLY, Mass. – The Cabot theater is in full apology mode after actor Richard Dreyfuss delivered what many attendees deemed to be a hate-filled tirade before a special screening of "Jaws." Dreyfus, famous for his role in the 1975 blockbuster, apparently made sexist, transphobic, and homophobic remarks, prompting a swift backlash and an exodus of uncomfortable guests.

According to reports, the tickets for "An Evening With Richard Dreyfuss + Jaws Screening" cost around $300, but instead of nostalgia, many in the audience were left feeling disturbed. Dreyfuss’s comments, which allegedly disparaged women in film, the LGBTQ community, and the #MeToo movement, led to attendees like Sarah Hogg and their partner Jonah Hoffmann walking out. "I'm queer, I'm nonbinary. This is personal to me,” Hogg told NBC Boston. "It was horrifying."

The event took an unexpected turn as Dreyfuss spoke on Barbra Streisand, eventually veering off into what the Hollywood Reporter characterized as "bigoted opinions." The Cabot's executive director J. Casey Seward, issued an apology, acknowledging that Dreyfuss’s statements were not in alignment with the theater's commitment to inclusivity and respect. "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," Seward stated, according to WCVB.

In a different move, Dreyfuss appeared on stage in what seemed to be an attempt at a disjointed gag, entering in a dress to Taylor Swift’s music before it was ripped off, after which he reportedly said, "that’s the last time you’ll see me in LGBT garb," according to an audience member's account obtained by Boston.com. Some social media users reported that hundreds of attendees walked out, while others said about half of the audience left after the rant, which included controversial statements about transgender children.

The Cabot theater has pledged to overhaul its vetting process for events to prevent repeats of such incidents, as noted in Seward's statement. Meanwhile, Dreyfuss's side of the story remains unheard, as his representative has yet to respond to requests for comment. The incident at The Cabot follows similar comments made by Dreyfuss in a Firing Line episode the previous year, where he criticized the Film Academy’s diversity and inclusivity standards.