Director, actress, and singer-songwriter Barbra Streisand has carved out a legendary career in a male-dominated industry but it did not come easy.
The two-time Oscar winner opened up about her battles with male Hollywood executives and an encounter with Harvey Weinstein that left much to be desired.
Streisand, 75, told Variety about Weinstein’s demands to once have Streisand perform a song during the opening night of his Broadway musical “Finding Neverland”.
“He wanted me to come there on his arm and sing a song on the album,” Streisand explained. “I said, ‘No. I can’t do that.’”
Weinstein allegedly responded to Streisand’s refusal by threatening to blacklist her from future movies and no longer send his releases to her home.
“That kind of stupidity. So I thought he was a boorish guy,” said Streisand. “I thought he was vulgar.”
The Academy famously snubbed her 1983 film “Yentl”, which was directed, co-written and co-produced by, and starred Streisand.
“It was strange,” recalled Streisand. “I didn’t mind it for one reason: It really showed the sexism. I thought, by not being nominated, I put a spotlight on the issue. I thought, Wow. This is so transparent.”
The same challenges Streisand faced three decades ago are now at the forefront. Women standing up against discrepancies in pay, sexual misconduct, and for equal opportunity in directing have been among the most newsworthy content of the past several months.
“I didn’t know it was a glass ceiling,” said the icon. “I just thought they don’t believe in a woman’s capacity to handle finances or to be the businessman. Years ago, I was told, ‘You want control? A woman wants control? That’s crazy!’”
Speaking on the #MeToo and Time’s Up movements, Streisand said, “It’s just awe-inspiring. I’m totally proud.”