Barbra Streisand: ‘Academy sexism cost me Oscars recognition’


Barbra Streisand is convinced sexism is to blame for missing out on prestigious Oscar nominations for her critically-acclaimed movies Yentl and The Prince Of Tides.

The singer, actress and filmmaker called out the Academy’s aging membership, which was also male-dominated at the time, for the double snub during a candid career-spanning interview at the Tribeca Film Festival in New York, where she insisted her Hollywood peers just weren’t comfortable with a woman in charge.

“There were a lot of older people (in the Academy),” she told director Robert Rodriguez during the discussion on Saturday (29Apr17). “They don’t want to see a woman director.”

But Streisand insists it wasn’t just men: “I don’t know how many women wanted to see a woman director,” she added, claiming female film critics were even more harsh of her 1983 drama Yentl, about a Jewish girl who pretends to be a boy to further her religious studies, than their male counterparts.

“None of (the female critics) talked about what the movie was trying to say,” she vented. “It (the criticism) was not about what the movie was about – a celebration of women and all they could be.”
Yentl served as Streisand’s directorial debut and earned five Oscar nods, although it failed to land Best Picture or Best Director nominations – and the star admits the criticism was partly to blame for her subsequent filmmaking hiatus.

“I must have been more hurt than I thought, because I didn’t want to direct for years,” she mused.
Streisand, who has two Academy Awards for her earlier onscreen work, didn’t step behind the camera again until 1991’s The Prince of Tides, which earned seven Oscar nominations, including Best Picture, but not Best Director.

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