‘Jaws’ Star Goes on Sexist, Homophobic Rant During Special Screening

Roy Scheider as Chief Brody, Richard Dreyfuss as Hooper, and Robert Shaw as Quint in Jaws 1975
Credit: Universal Pictures

In 1975, Steven Spielberg made audiences afraid to go in the water with the release of his film Jaws. The summer blockbuster starred Roy Scheider as police Chief Martin Brody. When a woman’s mutilated remains wash up on Amity Island Beach, and it is determined that she died from a shark attack, Chief Brody must consider closing the beach. The mayor convinces him that Amity needs the beach open since summer is their busiest season.

The Mayor, Chief Brody, and Hooper Jaws

Credit: Universal Pictures

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Well, that decision only makes things worse, as more people are killed by the vicious Great White. Chief Brody then enlists the help of local shark hunter Quint (Robert Shaw) and oceanographer Hooper, played by Richard Dreyfuss.

It’s been nearly 50 years since Jaws came out, and it still has audiences staying away from the beach. Jaws is one of the most iconic horror movies that can give a viewer goosebumps with just two musical notes.

Roy Scheider as Chief Brody on a boat in Jaws

Credit: Universal Pictures

On Saturday, May 25, The Cabot Theater in Beverly, Massachusetts, hosted a special screening of Jaws, complete with Richard Dreyfuss as a guest speaker for the evening. Fans of the classic film and the well-known actor were thrilled to be able to watch the movie and hear Dreyfuss share fun anecdotes from his time working with Scheider, Shaw, and Spielberg.

Unfortunately, things did not turn out how they expected. In fact, the night took such a drastic turn that dozens of patrons walked out in disgust, and the theater had to apologize.

Richard Dreyfuss, Roy Scheider, Robert Shaw in Jaws

Credit: Universal Pictures

X (formerly Twitter) user @montefisto13 shared the email they received from the Cabot Theater. The email stated that the theater apologized and said Mr. Dreyfuss said things they did not stand behind or support.

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.”

According to X user @kleemcadams, her girlfriend’s parents were at the event and told her just a few of the sexist and homophobic comments that Dreyfuss made for no reason.

According to the parents, Dreyfuss said that he thought that Barbra Streisand was a “genius”, but he did not listen to her music because she was a woman. He apparently felt that women should not have that much power. He also allegedly vented about the Me Too movement, as well as the transgender community.

Dreyfuss allegedly angered so many people that many in the audience shouted at him and left before the movie even started. He also said that Spielberg’s 1977 film, Close Encounters of the Third Kind, was only successful because he was in it.

Sadly, this is not the first time that Dreyfuss has been criticized for outrageous comments that he has made at public events. The night before the Cabot Theater event, Dreyfuss attended a similar event at The Music Hall in Portsmouth, New Hampshire. He allegedly made similar comments to the ones made at The Cabot.

Two men sit across from each other. One man, facing away from the camera, wears glasses and a plaid jacket. The other man, resembling Richard Dreyfuss at a Jaws screening, dons a beige jacket over a shirt and has an intense expression. A microphone is placed between them.

Credit: Warner Bros.

In May 2023, during a PBS interview, Dreyfuss spoke about the Academy Award’s new inclusion policy. Dreyfuss said the new policies made him “want to vomit.” He said hurting people’s feelings should not be considered and that we can’t “cater” to the country’s minority.

Neither Dreyfuss nor his team has commented on his behavior.

Do you think Richard Dreyfuss’s comments were out of line? Let us know in the comments!

About Krysten Swensen

A born and bred New England girl living the Disney life in Southern California. I love to read, to watch The Golden Girls, and love everything to do with Disney and Universal. I also love to share daily doses of Disney on my Disney Instagram @BrazzleDazzleDisney!

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