Hollywood Legends Richard Dreyfuss And Kathleen Turner Talk #MeToo
The 'Jaws' star admitted to being a "low-down dirty dog" when it came to accusations of misconduct.
Hollywood legends Richard Dreyfuss and Kathleen Turner stopped by The Project as part of their Supanova stops.
The Supanova expo is a celebration of everything pop culture -- from video games to comics to a love of cosplay, the tour also includes celebrity guests and industry greats. From voice-over artists, comic creators, authors and stars of major film and TV favourites, the expo recently wrapped up its weekend in Sydney and will stop in Perth next weekend.
But what began as a light-hearted chat soon turned to a frank discussion about the changing nature of Hollywood amidst movements like #MeToo.
Turner spoke about the culture in Hollywood saying, "I could never understand why I would want to put myself in a living situation where I felt uneasy or attacked all the time".
The 63-year-old continued saying the way women are treated in Hollywood isn't limited to Los Angeles. She adding, "I would say that contempt for women, or an inherent sort of assumption of women as lower-class citizens, is universal."
Meanwhile Dreyfuss added, "Men's oppression of women has been going on rather heartily for hundred of thousands of years".
"It's more vivid in Hollywood, but that vividness is representative of everywhere."
Dreyfuss' relationship with the #MeToo movement is a tumultuous one, with his son Henry writing for BuzzFeed alleging that Kevin Spacey groped him when he was 18-years-old.
"My dad saw none of this and none of what would follow," Henry wrote, "because he was deeply focused on his script". Dreyfuss confirmed he hadn't seen the incident and was only made aware several years later when his son told him. He shared his son's story in a tweet writing, "I love my son... and I am so incredibly proud of him right now".
Soon after Dreyfuss himself was accused of sexually harassing a writer in the '80s.
Jessica Teich wrote on Facebook that Dreyfuss' tweet was the "height of hypocrisy" saying the Oscar-winner repeatedly harassed her over several years.
Dreyfuss responded to Teich's allegations, including the claim that Dreyfuss exposed himself to her which he denied "emphatically".
"At the height of my fame in the late 1970s I became an asshole," Dreyfuss' statement read, "The kind of performative masculine man my father had modelled for me to be. I lived by the motto, ‘If you don’t flirt, you die.’ And flirt I did."
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."
During his time on The Project Lisa Wilkinson challenged Dreyfuss on his statement, to which he clarified, "During the years of '79-83 I was a low-down dirty dog and I did a lot of things that I'm ashamed of now. But they were all culturally supported".
Dreyfuss then began to quantify his actions saying, "There are lines that one doesn't cross and in these instances you cannot -- or should not -- accuse someone of a crime before the crime has been defined".
"When mortal sin is mixed up with a venial sin, when a misdemeanour is mixed up with a felony that's time to be reflective." Dreyfuss began to wade into the case of Senator Al Franken who was accused by eight women of sexual misconduct.
Dreyfuss began to lament Franken's fall to power, calling his fall from grace "inexcusable" and referencing the 2006 image of Franken groping Leeann Tweeden as she slept, but the panel cut Dreyfuss off and pivoted back to Turner who gave the final thought of the evening regarding #MeToo.
"The movement is all very well and good in terms of women speaking out," Turner said, "but I am a very practical woman".
"The truth is, I think the organisation that is funding women who cannot afford lawyers in order to protect themselves or sue for compensation in some of the situations they've been in is more valuable."
Turner was referring to #TimesUp, a movement that was started as a response to the #MeToo movement. #TimesUp began when over 300 women from all corners of Hollywood came together to start a legal fund in order to assist women in the fight against inequality, harassment and exploitation across all industries.
Names like Reese Witherspoon, Shonda Rimes, Ava Du Vernay and Natalie Portman headed up the movement which raised over $21 million in less than five months.
Turner and Dreyfuss will appear at the Perth Supanova expo which runs from June 22 - 24 at the Perth Convention & Exhibition Centre.