Barbra Streisand | Larry Kramer | News

Larry Kramer: Barbra Streisand a Hypocrite on Gay Rights

Following Wednesday's ruling striking down Proposition 8, Barbra Streisand released this statement of support:

Streisand "With this judge's decision, we are closer to the day that all people will have access to the same fundamental rights. Hopefully, this remaining civil rights violation will soon be a part of our past and we can look to a future where all people will be treated equally under the law."

Streisand's statement really rubbed playwright and activist Larry Kramer the wrong way, enough so for him to post this searing response on the ACT UP forum:

"Barbra Streisand is a hypocrite. If she had made my play about AIDS, The Normal Heart, in 1986, when she first acquired the rights, only to sit on them for a full ten years without filming it, she could have done something for gay rights when we were really in the sewer of death. But no, she chose to go off and make such vitally important and classic movies as Nuts and The Mirror Has Two Faces. Barbra Streisand cares about gay rights as much as i care about spending a zillion dollars decorating a colony of houses in Malibu. As the mother of a son who is not only gay but HIV positive, she should be ashamed of herself.

Fortunately and at last, an exciting movie version is now being prepared by openly gay director-producer Ryan Murphy to star Mark Ruffalo. i hope it will prove that the best thing that happened for The Normal Heart is that Barbra Streisand didn't make it.

I think it is important for all her many gay fans around the world, which certainly had once included me, to know the above.

Note: Kramer sent a correction regarding the earlier, incorrect date.

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  1. Interesting how Mr. Kramer accuses Ms. Streisand of getting the rights to THE NORMAL HEART about ten years before he wrote it.

    Posted by: Roscoe | Aug 6, 2010 7:40:21 AM

  2. Did Kramer misread her statement or has he been drinking, bless his heart? I respect his work as a writer, but his role as bitter queen leaves me tired.

    Posted by: Aaron B | Aug 6, 2010 7:43:54 AM

  3. I don't see the connection, sorry

    Posted by: carl anthony | Aug 6, 2010 7:46:07 AM

  4. Did Kramer just disclose Streisand's son's HIV status? I never heard that before. I heard he was gay but not HIV poz. I sure hope that that information was public already, otherwise, that's pretty cold.

    Posted by: B-rod | Aug 6, 2010 7:46:44 AM

  5. Oooh sounds bitter. I guess there are any number of reasons she might have passed on the project... it's not always homophobia or lack of support for gay rights.

    Posted by: Mike | Aug 6, 2010 7:47:05 AM

  6. Larry has to belch these things out from time to time to remind us he is still alive and bitter.

    Posted by: Jimmy | Aug 6, 2010 7:48:19 AM

  7. B-Rod, yes, it's been public knowledge for many years that Barbra's son, Jason Gould, is HIV positive. The June 3, 2003 issue of The National Enquirer had a story, perhaps the first (not sure). Here it is -

    Posted by: Jimmy | Aug 6, 2010 7:52:01 AM

  8. The 1976 is prob a typo for 1986. Who knows what finacial and other considerations stopped/delayed the movie.

    Posted by: Gus | Aug 6, 2010 7:53:39 AM

  9. Oh my! Mr. Kramer may just have won the award for Most Self-Serving Egotist of 2010! Somehow he feels that his play would have changed the world, cured AIDS, and ended homophobia. Balderdash. He's bitter because Ms. Streisand is a director who wouldn't give in to his need to control the production.

    And, as Roscoe points out, he got the wrong date! What's up, Mr. Kramer? A writer of your Olympian stature, whose works can change the world, can't proof your own stuff?

    Posted by: JT - the original | Aug 6, 2010 7:57:17 AM

  10. While I think Larry is coloring outside the lines and connecting all the wrong is saddening that he has dragged her son (Jason) into his comments. If you fight is with Ms. Streisand keep it that way.

    Posted by: True Words | Aug 6, 2010 8:01:56 AM

  11. Imagine being in the same room with Kramer and Streisand for a second. Not only would Kramer probably yell at you, Streisand would have charged you like $1500.00 to be there.

    Posted by: bobbyjoe | Aug 6, 2010 8:07:50 AM

  12. Just sad. Ugly and sad.

    Posted by: Sean | Aug 6, 2010 8:11:59 AM

  13. Kramer sounds like a jerk.

    Posted by: dattexas | Aug 6, 2010 8:25:10 AM

  14. That's our Larry.

    Posted by: tyler | Aug 6, 2010 8:31:05 AM

  15. Sounds like one part p.r. for "an exciting movie version ... now being prepared by openly gay director-producer Ryan Murphy to star Mark Ruffalo.", mixed with two parts anger and one part self-importance.

    The movie might be good - it's mind blowing to look back and remember what it was like 25-30 years ago - but it will be hard to recapture the angst of that time for viewers who weren't there. Obviously not for Mr. Kramer - angst and anger, as well as action and a sharp tongue, define him.

    Posted by: MammaBear | Aug 6, 2010 8:40:14 AM

  16. If not for that "bitter old queen" (Larry Kramer), and his group ACT-UP, where would we be today in terms of medications to treat HIV-AIDS? Some of us owe Larry and ACT-UP a lot of gratitude for the heroic work they did in the 1980s and 1990s when people were dropping like flies due to AIDS.

    Posted by: elg | Aug 6, 2010 8:53:09 AM

  17. I'm tempted to paraphrase the first lines of FALSETTOS: "Old Jews In A Room Bitching!..." Kramer has no notion of Barbra's generosity. It's a Jewish tradition that gifts given anonymously are doubly-blessed, and she's given endlessly. Can we assume Larry would donate his royalty checks? He makes a very classless inclusion of her son and homes, too. Bitter much?

    Posted by: Wavin' Dave | Aug 6, 2010 8:57:51 AM

  18. Larry has made being a Bitter Old Queen totally FABULOUS! I can appreciate his anger at Babs for stringing him along for so long on the project. When she acquired it everyne naturally thought the movie was a done deal. But it wasn't. I very much look forward to Ryan Murphy doing it and Mark Ruffalo is perfect for the central role of Ned Weeks.

    That Jason is HIV+ has been known for a great many years but never discussed publically. He's no longer interested in acting, preferring to work behind the scenes instead.

    Posted by: David Ehrenstein | Aug 6, 2010 8:58:42 AM

  19. The fact that her son is HIV positive has nothing to do with her opinions about gay marriage.Doesn't matter whether her son is open about it or not. I think it's really low of Larry Kramer to throw this in the mix.

    Posted by: Paul | Aug 6, 2010 9:09:21 AM

  20. AIDS has never been a gay issue. Nor should it be. No illness has the ability to discriminate on the basis of sexual orientation. If Larry Kramer wants to play the victim card, so be it. He should be reminded that it was mainly the promiscuous set - and not the orientation per se - which made people vulnerable to immune deficiency.

    Behavior does have consequences. If you want to fuck total strangers in dark corners, don't be surprised if you get more than you bargained for.

    Posted by: jason | Aug 6, 2010 9:11:47 AM

  21. @Jason: Behavior does indeed have consequences. For example, the consequence of your ridiculous rant about AIDS being a disease of the slutty results in most rational people thinking you're an asshole.

    Posted by: ChristopherM | Aug 6, 2010 9:24:44 AM

  22. Barbra is really too sacred of a cow. No matter what bad things some might accuse her of, there will be an endless number who love her unequivocably.

    The news about her son's HIV status is news and saddening to me.

    One last thing, I've noticed that a lot of people get cranky and intemperate in their old age. I'm willing to throw Larry Kramer a little slack for his outburst at Barbara, but he'd probably tell me to take my slack and put it "where the sun don't shine".

    I hope I live forever, but never get old.

    Posted by: Chad | Aug 6, 2010 9:30:58 AM

  23. I would hate Streisand, too, if I were Kramer.

    But wow, so Kramer feels Streisand is a hypocrite because the only way in which she could have expressed her support of gay rights back in the '80s would have been to make a movie out of his work?

    I respect Kramer's place in gay history, but with an ego-addled statement like this, I'm afraid that is where it belongs—in history.

    (And holy crap, Jason is worse than an asshole or is mad that nobody is interested in his. As if the people who originally contracted HIV could reasonably have been expected to figure out that a deadly disease would spring up and infect them, and as if the majority of people who've contracted HIV since have contracted it because they're having sex in dark corners with total strangers. What a misinformed misanthrope.)

    Posted by: Matthew Rettenmund | Aug 6, 2010 9:36:57 AM

  24. take a long walk off a short pier, you bitter old queen

    Posted by: gomez | Aug 6, 2010 9:39:52 AM

  25. The complexity of film making is enormous. How dare Larry Kramer blame Barbra for not making his film. According to what I heard HE is very, very difficult to work with and had a hard time compromising with Streisand. You can tell by the tone of his nasty spew that this bitter man ain't easy.

    Truly professional people do not resort to such mud slinging and airing of nasty opinion. Larry Kramer needs to wise up. Kramer's remarks only make him look bad. Barbra does not deserve that kind of lashing.

    Posted by: Max F. Grump | Aug 6, 2010 9:45:40 AM

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