Richard Dreyfuss is the latest famous person to get caught up in accusations of sexual harassment. But the aging star at least has a unique defense for his alleged misdeeds.
While he denied being an “assaulter,” he did admit to being an “asshole” while he was younger. He was accused of exposing himself to a writer in Los Angeles in 1987 while the two were working on a comedy special for ABC. Television writer Jessica Teich said Dreyfuss pulled her toward him while his penis was out of his pants.
“I remember my face being brought close to his penis,” Teich said. “I can’t remember how my face got close to his penis, but I do remember that the idea was that I was going to give him [oral sex]. I didn’t, and I left.”
So who does Dreyfuss blame? Drugs, his dad, and all men. All of them. Here’s his long statement, starting with what an absolute cad he was:
I flirted with all women, be they actresses, producers, or 80-year-old grandmothers. I even flirted with those who were out of bounds, like the wives of some of my best friends, which especially revolts me. I disrespected myself, and I disrespected them, and ignored my own ethics, which I regret more deeply than I can express. During those years I was swept up in a world of celebrity and drugs – which are not excuses, just truths. Since then I have had to redefine what it means to be a man, and an ethical man. I think every man on Earth has or will have to grapple with this question. But I am not an assaulter.
Dreyfuss then goes on to try to deflect from his actions to all of Hollywood.
There is a sea-change happening right now, which we can look upon as a problem or an opportunity. We all of us are awakening to the reality that how men have behaved toward women for eons is not OK. The rules are changing invisibly underneath our feet. I am playing catch up. Maybe we all are. I hope people can join me in honestly looking at our behavior and trying to make it right. We have to relearn every rule we thought we knew about how men and women interact, because after all getting together is the most fundamental human compulsion. And if we don’t succeed in that, what do we have? I hope this is the beginning of a larger conversation we can have as a culture.
Sorry, Dick. All men don’t do that. Most men are taught to treat women with respect. Most men don’t flirt with 80-year-old grandmothers, or the wives of their best friends.
There’s no reason for “all men” to “re-learn” anything. We were already taught right the first time. It’s not a problem with men as a blanket statement. It’s a problem with boors like yourself who have not a semblance of morality.
Not all men are “swept up in a world of celebrity and drugs.” Besides, what drug makes you want to flirt with an 80-year-old? Meth? Is it meth? Because I smoked a little pot in college and never went skulking around nursing homes, looking for dates.
What do you think? Sound off below!