Barbra Streisand Blasted by Normal Heart Playwright Larry Kramer, Claims She Found Gay Sex "Distasteful," She Responds

Celebrity News May. 22, 2014 AT 12:05PM
Barbra Streisand and Larry Kramer The Normal Heart playwright Larry Kramer claims that Barbra Streisand found gay love scenes to be "distasteful" in his recent New York Times interview. Credit: Paul Zimmerman/WireImage.com; Bobby Bank/FilmMagic

Could one of the world's biggest gay icons actually oppose the idea of showing a gay sex scene in a film? That's what The Normal Heart playwright Larry Kramer claimed of Barbra Streisand in his recent New York Times interview. The 78-year-old, who has been working hard to get his Tony Award-winning work onscreen after several successful runs both on and off Broadway, attacked stage and screen legend Streisand in his new interview after the diva held the rights to The Normal Heart for years and failed to make it into a film. 

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Kramer claimed that Streisand's biggest problem was with showing a love scene between two men.

“I said, ‘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 recalled. “I bought her a book of very beautiful art pictures of two men making love, and she found it very distasteful.”

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Babs quickly replied to the Times' request for comment, saying her intention for the movie was “to promote the idea of everyone’s right to love. Gay or straight!”

“Larry was at the forefront of this battle and, God love him, he’s still fighting,” Streisand continued. “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, whether they’re about heterosexuals or homosexuals. It’s a matter of taste, not gender.”

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She also touched on the gay couple at the center of the story, which is loosely based off Kramer's own life. “I was trying to reach a large audience, and I wanted them to root for these two men to get married,” Streisand said. 

Ultimately, it came down to Kramer's demand for what he admitted was "a lot of money," which Streisand said she couldn't raise herself. Glee creator and director of the new HBO film Ryan Murphy used his own money to buy the rights, “which shows how much he wanted to do this, and how tacky it sort of is that Barbra never would think of something like that,” Kramer continued.

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The Normal Heart, starring Mark Ruffalo, Matt Bomer, Julia Roberts, and Jim Parsons, airs Sunday, May 25 on HBO at 9 p.m. ET.

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