Richard Dreyfuss, the Oscar-winning actor known for his roles in such blockbusters as Jaws and Close Encounters of the Third Kind, recently weighed in on the current state of the film industry, sharing that he’s not very fond of the forced inclusivity we’ve seen in recent years.

Roy Neary (Richard Dreyfuss) is about to make a life-changing decision in Close Encounters of the Third Kind (1977), Sony Pictures Entertainment

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In September of 2020, The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences announced that beginning with the 96th Oscars ceremony in 2024, films would be required to meet two of four new representation and inclusion standards in order to be eligible for a Best Picture nomination.

Issuing a joint statement, Academy President David Rubin and Academy CEO Dawn Hudson explained, “The aperture must widen to reflect our diverse global population in both the creation of motion pictures and in the audiences who connect with them. ”

“The Academy is committed to playing a vital role in helping make this a reality,” the pair continued. “We believe these inclusion standards will be a catalyst for long-lasting, essential change in our industry.”

The Academy announces new inclusion and representation standards via Twitter

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Some of the Academy’s ridiculous guidelines require films to include “at least one of the lead actors or significant supporting actors is from an underrepresented racial or ethnic group” to achieve the “on-screen representation, themes and narratives” standard.

The new regulations specifically note that these may be “Asian, Hispanic/Latinx, Black/African America, Indigenous/Native American/ Alaskan Native, Middle Eastern/North African, Native Hawaiian or other Pacific Islander,” as well as “other underrepresented race or ethnicity.”

Further, other standards expand this requirement to include members of the ever-growing LGBTQ+ community, women, and even people with “cognitive or physical disabilities, or who are deaf or hard of hearing,” as well as racially or ethnically underrepresented individuals.

| ‘Everything Everywhere All at Once’ Wins Best Picture | 95th Oscars (2023) | via Oscars, YouTube

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During a recent appearance on PBS’ Firing Line with Margaret Hoover, Dreyfuss was asked his opinion on the Academy’s new inclusivity guidelines, and the Oscar winner didn’t have kind words to express his discontent with the upcoming implementations.

“They make me vomit,” the Jaws actor said. Upon being asked the reason why he disagrees with the guidelines, Dreyfuss declared, “Because it’s an art form.”

He went on, “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.”

“And what are we risking?” the Academy Award winner then asked. “Are we really risking hurting people’s feelings?”

“You can’t legislate that,” he elaborated. “And you have to let life be life. And I’m sorry, I don’t think that there is a minority or a majority, in the country, that has to be catered to like that.”

Dreyfuss then raised English actor Laurence Olivier’s role as Othello in Stuart Burge’s adaptation of William Shakespeare’s The Tragedy of Othello, the Moor of Venice, praising the late-actor’s performance despite it being delivered in blackface.

Othello (Lauence Olivier) realises his mistake and holds in his arms the corpse of his wife Desdemona (Maggie SMith) one last time in Othello (1965), BHE Films : National Theatre of Great Britain

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“You know, Laurence Olivier was the last white actor to play Othello, and he did it in 1965,” said the actor. “And he did it in blackface. And he played a black man brilliantly.”

To emphasise his point, he rhetorically pondered, “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?”

Richard Dreyfuss | Full Episode 5.5.23 | Firing Line with Margaret Hoover | PBS | via Firing Line with Margaret Hoover, YouTube

“Are we crazy? Do we not know that art is art?” he further questioned. “This is so patronising. It’ so thoughtless, and treating people like children.”

Hoover then asked the actor if he thought there might be a difference between a white actor in the UK using blackface to play the Merchant of Venice and a white actor in the United States doing the same due to the latter country’s “history of slavery and the sensitivities around black racism,” to which Dreyfuss doubled down, “There shouldn’t be one.”

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

Marine biologist Matt Hooper (Richard Dreyfuss) enters a shark-proof cage in a desperate measure to kill the vicious shark in Jaws (1975), Universal Pictures

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