Dreyfuss claimed that the Oscars' inclusion guidelines are 'patronizing' and reveal that people are 'so fragile'

Legendary actor Richard Dreyfuss condemned Hollywood’s new inclusivity standards in strong terms during a recent interview, claiming they make him "vomit."

Dreyfuss, who’s starred in "Jaws," "Close Encounters of the Third Kind," and many other classic Hollywood films, blistered the new diversity and inclusion guidelines that will be implemented at the Academy Awards starting next year.

The guidelines must be adhered to by any film in the running for a "Best Picture" Oscar.

Dreyfuss on PBS

Richard Dreyfuss condemns Hollywoods diversity and inclusivity standards during an interview PBS this week. (Screenshot/YouTube)

As first noted on Hollywood in Toto, PBS anchor Margaret Hoover brought up the new guidelines during her interview with the actor on PBS’ "Firing Line" Friday.

The anchor stated, "Starting in 2024, films will be required to meet new inclusion standards to be eligible for the Academy Awards for ‘Best Picture.’ They’ll have to have a certain percentage of actors or crew from underrepresented racial or ethnic groups."

She asked, "What do you think of these new inclusion standards for films?"

Not holding back, Dreyfuss declared, "They make me vomit." 

Defending his total rejection of the concept, he said, "Because this is an art form, it’s also a form of commerce and it makes money, but it’s an art. And no one should be telling me, as an artist, that I have to give in to the latest most current idea of what morality is."

The actor continued, claiming that such guidelines stifle creativity and risk. "And what are we risking? Are we really risking hurting people’s feelings? You can’t legislate that? And you have to let life be life."


photo of Richard Dreyfuss on Rubin Report

Richard Dreyfuss said political partisanship and ignorance of civics has hurt the country in a recent interview with "The Rubin Report." (Youtube/TheRubinReport)

Dreyfuss further claimed he doesn’t believe any group in society today that should be given special treatment. He said, "And I’m sorry, I don’t think there’s a minority or a majority in the country that has to be catered to like that."

The actor then defended Hollywood legend Lawrence Olivier’s "Blackface" rendition of Shakespeare’s "Othello" in 1968.

He stated, "Lawrence Olivier was the last White actor to play ‘Othello,’ and he did it in 1965. And he did it in ‘Blackface.’ And he played a Black man brilliantly."

He conveyed his point with a few rhetorical questions, asking , "Am I being told that I will never have a chance to play a Black man? Is someone else being told that if they’re not Jewish, they shouldn’t play the ‘Merchant of Venice?’ Are we crazy? Do we not know that art is art?"

Dreyfuss wasn’t done condemning the inclusion guidelines, saying, "This is so patronizing. It’s so thoughtless and treating people like children."

Hoover asked the actor if the history of slavery and racism in America might justify making "Blackface" a taboo, though Dreyfuss claimed he didn’t think so. 

Again, he said, "Because it’s patronizing. Because it says we’re so fragile that we can’t have our feelings hurt. We have to anticipate having our feelings hurt, our children’s feelings hurt. We don’t know how to stand up and bop the bully in the face.

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