Peter Benchley, the original book’s author, also expressed his guilt. After he died in 2006, his obituary in the Los Angeles Times quoted his interview with the London Daily Express in which he reiterated that the film was entirely fictional and not representative of real-world danger.
“Knowing what I know now, I could never write that book today,” he said. “Sharks don’t target human beings, and they certainly don’t hold grudges.”
Brianna Le Busque and Carla Litchfield, researchers at the University of South Australia, analyzed the depiction of sharks in over a hundred films released between 1958 and 2019. In a report published in 2021, Busque found that Pixar’s Finding Dory (2016) was the only movie of the 109 studied that didn’t depict sharks as threats to humans.
“What we found is that it was really consistent to how the news media portrays sharks. All of the films, apart from one, had sharks that were scary, that were biting people, or people fearing sharks. That was the really prominent thing: that sharks were scary,” Le Busque told Mongabaya US-based science outlet.
The Florida Museum of Natural History’s database examined 137 reported interactions between sharks and humans that happened in 2021. It found that most attacks happened in a shark’s natural habitat.
A 2013 Pew study estimated that about 100 million sharks were killed each year in commercial fisheries.
Jaws helped turn Spielberg into a filmmaking legend and set the stage for his later blockbusters, which included Jurassic Park and E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial. He’s got millions of fans across the globe. Understandably, none of those fans are sharks.