Richard Dreyfuss rages against Hollywood inclusion standards, stirs controversy – Hindustan Times

Subscribe Now! Get features like
Richard Dreyfuss, the iconic actor known for his roles in classic Hollywood films like “Jaws” and “Close Encounters of the Third Kind,” has taken a firm stance against Hollywood’s new inclusion standards, calling them “patronizing” and “thoughtless.” In a recent interview with PBS’ “Firing Line,” Dreyfuss expressed his strong disapproval of the new diversity and inclusion guidelines that will be implemented at the Academy Awards starting next year.
The new guidelines require any film in the running for a “Best Picture” Oscar to adhere to specific inclusion standards. Films must have a certain percentage of actors or crew from under-represented racial or ethnic groups. When asked for his opinion on the new guidelines, Dreyfuss didn’t hold back, declaring, “They make me vomit.”
Dreyfuss argued that film is an art form and a form of commerce, and no one should be telling artists what to do in terms of the latest moral ideas. He claimed that such guidelines stifle creativity and risk and do not let life be life. He further stated that he doesn’t believe any group in society today should be given special treatment, adding that the new standards are patronizing and treat people like children.
Defending his point, Dreyfuss brought up Hollywood legend Lawrence Olivier’s “Blackface” rendition of Shakespeare’s “Othello” in 1968, calling it a brilliant performance. He questioned whether he would never have the chance to play a black man and whether someone who is not Jewish should not play the “Merchant of Venice.” He emphasized that art is art, and we should not let such guidelines affect it.
Dreyfuss also disagreed with the notion that the history of slavery and racism in America justifies making “Blackface” a taboo, calling it patronizing and thoughtless. He stated that it assumes we are too fragile to have our feelings hurt and do not know how to stand up to bullies.
Also read | Writers’ strike intensifies over studios’ refusal to regulate use of AI
Dreyfuss’s comments have sparked debate and controversy, with some supporting his stance and others criticizing him for being out of touch with current societal values. It remains to be seen whether Hollywood will take any action regarding his statements, but for now, Dreyfuss remains steadfast in his beliefs.


Leave a Comment