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Richard Dreyfuss Says New Oscars Diversity Rules ‘Make Him Vomit’

The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, the Academy Awards’ governing body, is planning to implement new restrictions for films competing for Best Picture.

These restrictions, which are slated to take effect next year, will require films to fulfill two of four criteria, including having one ‘lead or important supporting actor’ from an ‘underrepresented racial or ethnic group’.

Other rules include that 30% of all performers in “secondary or minor roles” must come from an “underrepresented group,” and that the film’s plot, subject, or narrative must center on underrepresented groups.

The 75-year-old stated during an interview that it makes him puke.

No one should tell him, as an artist, that he has to accept the most recent, most current definition of morality. What are one putting ourselves through? Do people truly want to risk hurting others’ feelings? That is not something that can be legislated. One has to let life be life, and he is sorry, but he does not believe there is a minority or majority in the country that has to be tended to like that.

In his discussion, Dreyfuss also discussed blackface, notably the late actor Laurence Oliver’s use of blackface to perform Othello.

Laurence Olivier was the last white actor to play Othello, and he did it in 1965, the American Graffiti star recalled. And he did it while wearing blackface. And he was fantastic as a black guy. Is he being told that he’ll never get to portray a black man? Is someone else being advised that they shouldn’t perform The Merchant of Venice if they aren’t Jewish? Is one insane? Does one not understand that art is art?

He said that this is so patronizing. It’s extremely careless to treat people like toddlers.

Dreyfuss’ views have subsequently sparked a social media reaction, with many individuals denouncing him.

The Academy said that the new rules were created to promote equal representation on and off screen in order to better reflect the diversity of the movie-going public in 2020.

According to Academy President David Rubin and Academy CEO Dawn Hudson, they will be catalysts for long-lasting, necessary change within the industry.

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