Richard Dreyfuss, a great actor, was recently interviewed and harshly criticized the new inclusion criteria being implemented in the entertainment industry in Hollywood, alleging that the requirements cause him to “vomit.”
Dreyfuss, who has starred in numerous iconic Hollywood films such as “Jaws,” “Close Encounters of the Third Kind,” and many others, has criticized the new diversity and inclusion standards introduced at the Academy Awards beginning in the next year. These guidelines will take effect in 2019.
Any movie that wants to be considered for an Oscar for “Best Picture” must follow the criteria for the award.
PBS anchor Margaret Hoover discussed the new limits during her interview with the actor that aired on Friday’s “Firing Line” episode on PBS. This information was first reported on Hollywood in Toto.
As mentioned by the anchor, “Beginning in 2024, for films to be eligible for the Academy Award for ‘Best Picture,’ they will need to meet new inclusion standards.” They must have a specified percentage of cast members and crew members who are members of racial or ethnic groups that are underrepresented.
She posed the following question: “What do you think of these new inclusion standards for films?”
Dreyfuss made his opinion known unequivocally, stating, “They make me vomit.”
To explain why he adamantly opposed the idea, he stated, “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 has the right to tell me, as an artist, that I must capitulate to the most modern and cutting-edge concept of morality.
The actor argued that such restrictions inhibit innovation and risk-taking and should be avoided. “And what exactly are we taking a chance on? Are we risking hurting people’s feelings? That cannot be legislated in any way. And you must allow life to unfold as it will.”
In addition, Dreyfuss asserted that he does not feel that any group in today’s society should be accorded preferential treatment. He stated, “And I’m sorry, but I don’t think there’s a minority or a majority in this country that has to be catered to like that.”
The actor defended Hollywood veteran Lawrence Olivier’s “Blackface” interpretation of Shakespeare’s “Othello” in 1968. “Blackface” was Lawrence Olivier’s performance name.
According to what he said, “Lawrence Olivier was the last White actor to play ‘Othello,’ and he did it in 1965.” And he did it while wearing a costume known as ‘blackface.’ And he did an outstanding job portraying a Black man.
He made his point clear by asking a series of rhetorical questions, one of which was worded as follows: “Am I being told that I will never have the opportunity to play a Black man?” Is it true that someone else was advised they shouldn’t play the ‘Merchant of Venice’ role if they’re not Jewish?’ Are we crazy? Do we need to realize that art always consists of art?
When Dreyfuss continued criticizing the inclusion standards, he said, “This is so condescending. It’s inconsiderate, and it’s like treating them like children.
Hoover asked the actor whether the history of slavery and racism in the United States could justify calling the practice of “blackface” offensive. On the other hand, Dreyfuss stated that he disagreed with that assessment.
Once more, he stated, “Because it’s so condescending. Because it gives the impression that we are so delicate that we cannot have our feelings wounded in any way. We must prepare ourselves to have our feelings harmed, as well as the feelings of our children. We cannot stand up to the bully and punch him in the face because we do not know how.