Richard Dreyfuss, the Academy and Golden Globe Award winner, blasted new diversity rules that the Oscars have handed down on movies to be able to be considered for best picture awards, saying the new requirements “make me vomit.”
“They make me vomit,” Dreyfuss said on PBS’s “Firing Line.” “This is an art form. It’s also a form of commerce, and it makes money, but it’s an art. 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 won an Oscar in 1977 for Best Actor.
Starting in 2024, films must meet specific diversity requirements in order to be eligible for the best picture award, which is Hollywood’s most sought-after accolade. The new guidelines include requirements like at least one actor from an underrepresented racial or ethnic group being in a significant role or the story must center on women, LGBTQ people, a racial group or disabled people.
The new rules come after the Oscars came under fierce criticism for the lack of diversity amongst its nominees, with the #OscarsSoWhite social media movement that started in 2015 shedding light on the issue.
The criticism stemmed from the fact that for the 2015 installment of the award show, all 20 actors nominated for top awards were white. It was also the second year in a row that no actors of color were nominated.
But Dreyfuss, best known for his role in the “Jaws” series, argued in the interview that was released on Friday that he doesn’t “think there’s a minority or a majority in the country that has to be catered to like that.”
“What are we risking?,” Dreyfuss said. “Are we really risking hurting people’s feelings? You can’t legislate that. And you have to let life be life.”