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‘They make me puke’: Richard Dreyfuss slams Hollywood’s diversity rules and civics

Actor Richard Dreyfuss slammed Hollywood’s diversity standards and America’s failures in civic education on PBS’ “Firing Line” on Friday.

“They make me want to puke,” Dreyfuss said of the representation and inclusion standards set by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences for Oscar eligibility in the best picture category.

“This is an art form… nobody should tell me as an artist that I have to give in to the latest and greatest idea of ​​what morality is… I don’t think there is a minority or a majority in country that must be treated like this”.

The standards require that a certain percentage of cast and crew come from underrepresented racial and ethnic groups, be women, be non-heterosexual, or have cognitive or physical disabilities.

“Firing Line” host Margaret Hoover also asked the Oscar winner if he thinks there’s a difference in representation in general who is allowed to represent other groups, including the use of blackface.

“There shouldn’t be … Because it’s patronizing. Because it says we’re so fragile that we can’t get our feelings hurt,” Dreyfuss responded, in part.

Turning to the issue of civic education, Dreyfuss was equally forceful.

Dreyfuss told Hoover a story of his own civic education. He explained that his mother, “a communist, and she wasn’t kidding,” raised him in a very left-wing community. His mother and one of his middle school teachers, a Republican who “never tried to keep his GOP vibe away from his teaching,” would debate American history.

Dreyfess identified “the honor of dissent” as a fundamental element missing from civic education today.

“The idea that you looked for the truth in history and you weren’t fooled by it. You told the truth. Period. And that was it. You don’t stop at the water’s edge and you don’t commit to the water critical analysis,” he said. said

Dreyfuss developed his Dreyfuss Civics Initiative curriculum in 2006. On DCI’s website, Dreyfess explains why he believes prioritizing civics education is crucial.

“Teach our children to lead our country, before they are called to lead our country…if we don’t, someone else will.”

Dreyfuss and Hoover deepened their concerns about both civic education and civics in general.

“People confuse being exposed to an opposing view on any issue with being a traitor or being a subversive. And that’s kind of immature nonsense that goes beyond the immaturity of normal adults,” he said.

“I think we’re cowards … the idea of ​​a parent walking into a public school and saying, ‘I don’t want my kids to be exposed to opposing views,’ that’s wrong. That’s wrong from parents.”

“I think we’re at the end of the game right now,” Dreyfuss also said.

“I think we could blow away the best government idea ever conceived, and we won’t even know it happened.”

Watch Margaret Hoover’s interview with Richard Dreyfuss on PBS’s “Firing Line” below.

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