Barbra Streisand has hit back at writer and gay rights activist Larry Kramer after he accused the legendary entertainer of stalling on plans to adapt his Aids epidemic stageshow The Normal Heart for the screen because she allegedly finds gay sex "very distasteful".
Kramer has attacked the singer/actress in a New York Times interview, in which he reignites their decades-long feud after Streisand obtained the film rights for his hit 1985 production, but failed to bring anything to fruition for years.
The playwright suggests the veteran superstar was uncomfortable with the subject matter from the start and claims it was one of the main reasons for the hold-up.
Recalling an early meeting with Streisand, he states, "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.' I bought her a book of very beautiful art pictures of two men making love, and she found it very distasteful."
However, Streisand has fired back at Kramer, insisting she was committed to promoting "the idea of everyone's right to love. Gay or straight!"
In her statement to the Times, she continues, "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, whether they're about heterosexuals or homosexuals. It's a matter of taste, not gender."
Glee creator Ryan Murphy subsequently used his own funds to buy the rights to The Normal Heart and his Tv movie, produced via Brad Pitt's Plan B Entertainment firm, is due to air in the U.S. on Sunday (25May14).
The film version of the award-winning play, based on Kramer's efforts to raise awareness about Hiv and Aids during the 1980s, stars Mark Ruffalo, Julia Roberts and Matt Bomer.