Renowned actor Richard Dreyfuss, known for his iconic roles in “What About Bob?,” “American Graffiti,” “Jaws,” “Close Encounters of the Third Kind,” and many others, recently made headlines with his bold critique of Hollywood’s woke inclusion standards. In an interview on PBS’s “Firing Line with Margaret Hoover,” Dreyfuss did not mince words as he criticized what he sees as patronizing and thoughtless regulations in the entertainment industry.

The conversation between Dreyfuss and Hoover turned to Hollywood’s woke inclusion standards when Hoover mentioned that, starting next year, films would be required to meet these standards to be eligible for the Academy Award for Best Picture. Hoover explained that the new standards would demand a certain percentage of actors and crew members from underrepresented racial and ethnic groups, among other criteria.

Dreyfuss did not hold back in expressing his disdain for these new regulations. He passionately argued that the world of filmmaking is not only an art form but also a form of commerce, and it should not be subjected to the ever-evolving whims of morality. “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,” Dreyfuss asserted.

He went on to question the idea of legislating actors to act in a certain way to avoid hurting people’s feelings, labeling it as absurd. “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,” he passionately stated.

Dreyfuss also raised a thought-provoking point about the absurdity of these standards. He pointed out that legendary actor Laurence Olivier had portrayed Othello in blackface in 1965 and did it brilliantly. Dreyfuss questioned whether this meant that he and other actors could never have the chance to portray characters from different backgrounds. “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? This is so patronizing. It’s so thoughtless, and it treats people like children,” Dreyfuss passionately argued.

The Hollywood Reporter detailed the upcoming diversity rules, which will require films to meet two of four inclusion standards to be eligible for the Best Picture category at the Oscars. These standards include onscreen representation, industry access and opportunity, as well as other criteria aimed at promoting diversity in the industry.

Dreyfuss’s outspoken criticism of these woke inclusion standards has ignited a debate within the entertainment industry. While some argue that these standards are necessary to promote diversity and inclusivity, Dreyfuss’s perspective emphasizes the importance of artistic freedom and the potential stifling effect that such regulations may have on creativity.

In conclusion, Richard Dreyfuss’s candid critique of Hollywood’s woke inclusion standards has shed light on a complex and contentious issue within the entertainment industry. As the debate continues, it remains to be seen how these regulations will impact the world of filmmaking and the creative freedom of artists like Dreyfuss.