Streisand Responds to Larry Kramer's NORMAL HEART Accusations: 'No Need to Fight Me'
In a new interview published in yesterday's New York Times, NORMAL HEART playwright Larry Kramer lashed out at Barbra Streisand who at one time held the rights to the 1985 autobiographical play but failed to bring an adaptation to the small screen because she was unable to raise the necessary money. In the interview, Kramer accuses the actress of finding gay sex 'distasteful.'
'I said [to Barbra] "I really think it's important that after eons of watching men and women make love in the movies, it's time to see two men do so," Kramer told the Times, adding 'I bought [Barbara] a book of very beautiful art pictures of two men making love, and she found it very distasteful.'
Now, according to today's Daily Mail, Streisand has responded to Kramer's accusations, stating that her goal has always been to 'promote the idea of everyone's right to love. Gay or straight!' Says the 72-year-old, '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."
She continues, 'As a filmmaker, I have always looked for new and exciting ways to do love scenes, whether they're about heterosexuals or homosexuals. It's a matter of taste, not gender. I was trying to reach a large audience, and I wanted them to root for these two men to get married.'
Last month, Streisand defended her efforts to bring the play to television in an interview with The Hollywood Reporter, in which she stated, 'I tried very hard to get it made, but when it became clear that we couldn't raise the money to do it as a film due to the controversial nature of the material, I thought, "All right, we'll do it on TV." At least it would reach a wide audience. 'But HBO would only pay Larry $250,000 for the rights, and he would not let it go forward for anything less than $1,000,000, and no company was willing to move on it.
She adds, 'In the press, Larry kept speaking out against me. But I think it's unfair to keep blaming me for the movie not getting made. I worked on it for 25 years, without pay. Larry had the rights for the last 15 years and he couldn't get it made, either. Those are the facts.'
HBO's drama THE NORMAL HEART, premieres this Sunday, May 25th. Directed by Ryan Murphy and written by Larry Kramer, adapting his groundbreaking Tony Award-winning play of the same name. The film 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").
Photo Credit: Walter McBride / WM Photos