The legendary performer and Oscar winner, 75, tells Variety that she had an unpleasant experience with the disgraced producer after she refused to sing at the opening night of his 2014 Broadway show Finding Neverland.
“I thought he was vulgar,” she says. “He wanted me to come there on his arm and sing a song on the album. I said, ‘No. I can’t do that.’”
Streisand claims that Weinstein then threatened to never work with her, and to stop sending his films to screen at her home. “That kind of stupidity. So I thought he was a boorish guy,” she says.
Apart from her iconic career as a singer and Broadway star, Streisand also directed, co-produced, co-wrote and starred in the 1983 hit Yentl. But although she won a Golden Globe for her directing, Streisand was ultimately left off the Oscar ballot a few weeks later.
“It was strange,” recalls 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.’”
Now, Streisand is glad to have paved the way for other women to handle several roles on a movie set — but she didn’t realize what a groundbreaking moment it was at the time.
“I didn’t know it was a glass ceiling,” she says about directing. “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!’”