Richard Dreyfuss' son distances himself from latest rant, while theater director shares details

It might have looked as if Ben Dreyfuss, the son of actor Richard Dreyfuss, distanced himself from his father’s latest controversy by light-heartedly addressing the dust-up the Oscar winner recently had at a recent “Jaws” screening.

But when he was talking about “disgusting outrageous behavior” of one of his family members, he was not in fact talking about his 76-year-old father.

The elder Dreyfuss — who starred in “Jaws” and “American Graffiti” — caused a stir at the Cabot in Beverly, Mass., after allegedly ranting about women, LGBTQ+ individuals and the #MeToo movement, prompting several patrons to walk out of the theater. The incident also resulted in a formal apology from the venue that said it deeply regrets the “distress” it caused.

The younger Dreyfuss, who is a journalist and who played a younger version of his father’s character in “Madoff,” made light of the situation in a Monday tweet.

“Re: my father: well, now you know why I refused to give him the password to his own twitter account for a decade lol” he wrote on X, formerly Twitter. “This will be my only statement on the matter. thank you.”

But it wasn’t. As media picked up the his apparent reaction, Ben Dreyfuss clarified that a prior tweet he sent about the “disgusting outrageous behavior” of one of his relatives was misconstrued. Ben Dreyfuss said he was simply quipping about the fact that his sister now uses an Android phone.

“This @DailyMail article mischaracterizes this thread,” he added in a follow-up tweet. “I am obviously not a left-wing activist and the ‘joke’ wasn’t the part about his twitter account, it was the part about the disgusting outrageous behavior (of my sister adopting android).”

“I did not call my dad’s behavior ‘disgusting’ or ‘outrageous’ since I wasn’t there and didn’t see it!” he continued. “My dad and I disagree about lots of stuff. But it’s a free country. People are allowed to have different opinions about stuff.”

His father’s opinions — purportedly made before a screening of “Jaws” on Saturday — certainly clashed with several patrons of the 850-seat Cabot theater. According to the venue’s executive director, J. Casey Soward, an estimated 125 people left the sold-out event and he encountered many who were “really distraught” about Dreyfuss’ behavior and comments.

In a YouTube video that appears to be from the event, Dreyfuss danced onto the stage wearing a dress over his button-up shirt while Taylor Swift’s “Love Story” played. Two stagehands came onstage and removed the dress as Dreyfuss mimicked a striptease before putting on a blazer and taking his seat ahead of the screening. It’s unclear why the actor made such an entrance; representatives for Dreyfuss could not immediately be reached for comment.

Although an account of “The Goodbye Girl” Oscar winner’s full remarks has yet to emerge, Dreyfuss is reported to have delivered “a hate-filled speech that disparaged women in film, the #MeToo movement and LGBTQ rights.” The actor also took aim at his “Nuts” producer Barbra Streisand, whom he called both a “genius” and an “idiot,” and shared “bigoted opinions” on transgender kids and their parents, the Hollywood Reporter and Deadline said. (Last May, Dreyfuss also aimed at the Academy Awards’ efforts to foster diversity, which he said “make me want to vomit.”)

According to the Boston Globe, the “Mr. Holland’s Opus” and “Close Encounters of the Third Kind” star also disparaged trans rights, making a pointed remark that sparked the first wave of walkouts.

“It’s not OK because when the kid’s 15, she’s going to say, ‘I’m an octopus,’” he said, according to the Globe. The statement angered many in the audience, who shouted at Dreyfuss. Others walked out.

“He got booed and then said, ‘Oh, it’s gonna be one of those kinds of crowds’ or something like that,” Soward told the newspaper. Dreyfuss, who founded the Dreyfuss Civics Initiative in 2006, also lamented the state of civics education in the United States, urging audience members to “make sure your kids are not the last generation of Americans. And you know exactly what I’m talking about.”

Soward, like the patrons, apparently did not expect the outspoken star to go off in such a way.

“Sometimes people go to see a comedian who has these views and it’s well known. They’re kind of opting in for that experience,” Soward said. “But in this case, people thought they were going to see a screening of a movie and maybe hear some anecdotes from the movie.”

The director told the Globe that as soon as people starting walking out, he began crafting an apology that was emailed to ticketholders. The Cabot on Tuesday released a full statement attributed to Soward that apologized for Dreyfuss’ remarks and for not anticipating the potentially inflammatory nature of his appearance.

“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 statement said. “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.

“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,” the statement continued.

The Cabot said that it is “in active dialogue” with its patrons about their experience and is committed to learning from this event “how to better enact our mission of entertaining, educating, and inspiring our community.”

Source link

About The Author

Scroll to Top