Barbra Streisand may have been nominated for five Academy Awards over her nearly five-decade film career (and won two) — but the icon believes deep-rooted sexism in the industry prevented her from gaining more recognition, especially as a director.
Specifically, Streisand cited being personally snubbed at the Oscars for 1983's Yentl and 1991's The Prince of Tides — both of which she directed, produced, and starred in — during a panel moderated by Robert Rodriguez at the Tribeca Film Festival. Yentl was nominated for three Oscars, while The Prince of Tides nabbed seven total nods, but none of the awards went to Streisand herself. Notably, she was never nominated in the Best Director category.
"There were a lot of older people," Streisand said, as reported by Variety. "They don't want to see a woman director."
But Streisand didn't encounter sexism just from her male counterparts in the film industry. She also said she experienced jealousy and competition from her fellow females as well. "I don't know how many women wanted to see a woman director," she said.
But that same discrimination that Streisand believes prevented her from receiving Oscar nominations is what also motivated her to become a director in the first place. "I directed because I couldn't be heard," she said, referencing disagreements with the director of 1973's The Way We Were, the late Sydney Pollack. Streisand also expressed a desire to see more women behind the camera. "Not enough women are directing now," she said. "I love when I see a woman's name on the film, and then I want to see it be good." A notable release this year from a female director is Wonder Woman, starring W's May cover girl Gal Gadot and directed by Patty Jenkins.
This isn't the first time that Streisand has been vocal about sexism and gender discrimination issues. At 2015's The Hollywood Reporter Women in Entertainment breakfast she spoke passionately on the topic—and encouraged others to do so, too.
"Speak up until women are treated equally by the people who pay us, by the people who heal us and by the people who claim to represent us," she said at the time. "And remember: the more we support each other, the stronger we become."
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