Barbra Streisand Releases Statement on HBO's NORMAL HEART & 'Everyone's Right to Love'

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Barbra Streisand Releases Statement on HBO's NORMAL HEART & 'Everyone's Right to Love'

Star of stage and screen, Barbra Streisand is credited with being the first filmmaker to realize the potential of turning the Larry Kramer's 1985 play THE NORMAL HEART, which follows the early days of the AIDS epidemic in the U.S., into a feature-length film. The play debuted at New York's Public Theatre in 1985 and was revived in Los Angeles and London, and off-Broadway. The 2011 Broadway revival garnered five Tony nominations, winning for Best Revival, Best Featured Actor and Best Featured Actress.

The actress held an option on the project for 10 years and continued her efforts to bring it to fruition even after that option expired.

In an interview published in last week's New York Times, NORMAL HEART playwright Larry Kramer lashed out at Streisand, accusing the actress of finding gay sex 'distasteful.' (Read story here)

Today, Streisand released a statement to The New York Times on her long effort to help achieve right-to-love equality and her gratitude that A Normal Heart has finally been brought to large viewing audiences.

The statement follows:

MAY 27, 2014, 11:27 pm
When I fell in love with Larry's Kramer's play, "The Normal Heart," in 1986, I wanted to promote the idea of everyone's right to love. Gay or straight!

The gay community was suffering. A new disease was rearing its ugly head and no one was listening.

Larry was at the forefront of this battle and God love him, he's still fighting. But there's no need to fight me by misrepresenting my feelings.

As a filmmaker I have always looked for new and exciting ways to do love scenes. It's a matter of taste... whether they're about heterosexuals or homosexuals.

I was trying to reach a large audience and I wanted them to want these two men to get married!

We've come a long way since then-gay marriage is now legal in 17 states, but there are still 33 more to go.

I'm just glad that a large audience will finally get to see this story. It's an historical document now.

About HBO's A NORMAL HEART:

The HBO Films presentation The Normal Heart debuted on SUNDAY, MAY 25 on HBO. The drama stars Mark Ruffalo, Matt Bomer, Taylor Kitsch, Jim Parsons and Julia Roberts. The drama also starsAlfred Molina, Joe Mantello, Jonathan Groff, Denis O'Hare,Stephen Spinella, Corey Stoll, Finn Wittrock, and BD Wong.

Directed by Ryan Murphy and written by Larry Kramer, adapting his groundbreaking Tony Award-winning play of the same name, THE NORMAL HEART, tells the story of the onset of the HIV-AIDS Crisis in New York City in the early 1980s, taking an unflinching look at the nation's sexual politics as gay activists and their allies in the medical community fight to expose the truth about the burgeoning epidemic to a city and nation in denial.

The film stars Academy Award nominee Mark Ruffalo ("The Kids Are All Right"), Matt Bomer ("White Collar"), Taylor Kitsch ("Lone Survivor"), Emmy(R) winner Jim Parsons ("The Big Bang Theory") and Academy Award winner Julia Roberts as well as Alfred Molina ("An Education"), Tony Award winner Joe Mantello ("Law & Order"), Jonathan Groff(HBO's "Looking"), Denis O'Hare (HBO's "True Blood"), Stephen Spinella ("Milk"), Corey Stoll ("House of Cards"),Finn Wittrock ("Unbroken"), and BD Wong (HBO's "Oz").

An HBO Films presentation of a Plan B and Blumhouse production in association with Ryan Murphy Productions,The Normal Heart is executive produced by Ryan Murphy, Dante Di Loreto ("Glee"), Jason Blum (the "Paranormal Activity" series), Brad Pitt ("Moneyball"), Dede Gardner ("12 Years a Slave"). Mark Ruffalo co-executive produces;Scott Ferguson (HBO's "Temple Grandin") produces.

In 1981, writer Larry Kramer hosted a gathering of six gay men and their friends to discuss the "gay cancer," and to talk about fundraising for research. This informal meeting in Kramer's home would lead to the formation of Gay Men's Health Crisis (GMHC), one of the first advocacy groups for HIV prevention and care.

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