“I think we’re cowards”: Richard Dreyfuss Claims White Actors Should be Able to Play Black Roles After Robert Downey Jr.‘s Controversial $195M Movie

“I think we’re cowards”: Richard Dreyfuss Claims White Actors Should be Able to Play Black Roles After Robert Downey Jr.‘s Controversial $195M Movie
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With a career spanning over five decades in the entertainment industry, Richard Dreyfuss has made a name for himself with his captivating on-screen presence. He is known for his wide range of performances, from comedic to dramatic, and has become a Hollywood icon. His incredible performance has won him multiple accolades over the years, including an Academy Award for the 1977 film The Goodbye Girl.

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The Goodbye Girl
The Goodbye Girl

Dreyfuss recently joined Margaret Hoover on PBS’ Firing Line With Margaret Hoover, discussing a wide range of topics before landing on Academy’s diversity inclusion initiative. During his appearance on the show, the Stand by Me actor openly shared his criticism of the new diversity and inclusion standards of the Academy as well.

Read More: Marvel Gambled Twice With Robert Downey Jr.’s Career After Bringing Mickey Rourke On Board in ‘Iron Man 2’ Despite Actor’s Highly Erratic Behaviour

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Richard Dreyfuss Criticizes Oscar’s New Inclusion Standard

During an interview with PBS’ Firing Line With Margret Hoover, Richard Dreyfuss shared his disagreement with the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences’ new requirements for films to qualify under nominations for the Best Picture category.

Richard Dreyfuss
Richard Dreyfuss

The new inclusion standards require a film to have a certain percentage of crew and actors from underrepresented racial or ethnic groups to be eligible for the Best Picture nomination. When asked what he thinks of these new standards set by the Academy, the Jaws actor said, “They make me vomit.” He further said,

“What are we risking? Are we really risking hurting people’s feelings? You can’t legislate that. You have to let life be life and I’m sorry, I don’t think there is a minority or majority in the country that has to be catered to like that.”

2022 Academy Awards
2022 Academy Awards

According to the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, the new representation and inclusion standards will encourage “equitable representation on and off screen” to reflect the diverse global population. The Academy also notifies that films are required to fulfill two out of the four standards for the Best Picture submission at the 96th Academy Awards.

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Read More: Robert Downey Jr. Was Ready for A Paycut to Return to Marvel After $251M Flop With Tom Holland

Richard Dreyfuss Defends Lawrence Olivier

Hollywood has been accused of following the practice of whitewashing for a long time. Actor Lawrence Oliver also became a part of the concept with the 1965 drama adaptation of Shakespeare’s play Othello. The American actor portrayed a black character wearing blackface for the film, that’s taken as an offense by the Black community.

Robert Downey Jr. in Tropic Thunder
Robert Downey Jr. in blackface character in Tropic Thunder

In his recent interview, Richard Dreyfuss talked about the late actor as he mentioned that Lawrence Oliver was the last white actor to portray Othello. “Laurence Olivier was the last white actor to play Othello,” The Last Laugh star said before adding that the Othello star “played a black man brilliantly.”

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Implementing that acting is an art, Dreyfuss supported the idea of actors having the opportunity to play a “black man” or “Merchant of Venice.” While the Always star is offended by the new inclusion rules and the ways of the Academy and the film industry, these new rules have also sparked a debate.

Othello (1965)
Othello (1965)

According to a report from The Hollywood Reporter, producers and sources have shared their mixed reactions to new standards for Best Picture nominations. Some stated that it could be uncomfortable to ask their employees about their s*xual orientation or if they have any disabilities. Others claimed that “the bar isn’t that high” and they could easily fulfill these requirements.

Read More: You’ll Be Surprised To Know Where These 15 Actors Keep Their Awards

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Source: Firing Line With Margaret Hoover

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Written by Laxmi Rajput

Articles Published: 2423

Laxmi Rajput is a writer at Fandomwire. She finished her Post Graduation in Broadcast Journalism and worked as a Business News writer for a year. But her interest in entertainment and pop culture compelled her to find a way towards Entertainment Journalism. She has worked across various fields and has 2 years of experience in content writing. She likes reading, music, movies, and traveling. She aspires to become a fiction writer in the future.