Even Female Film Critics Were Crappy to Barbra Streisand When She Was a Director

BABS. Photo: Taylor Hill/Getty Images

Barbra Streisand shared some choice words about sexism in the film industry Saturday, during a Tribeca interview with director Robert Rodriguez. The legendary performer told the audience that she blamed sexism in the film industry for never being nominated for a best director Oscar, even though Yentl and The Prince of Tides racked up multiple noms in other categories. It wasn’t just “older people” who weren’t keen on a seeing a woman in the director’s chair, either; “I don’t know how many women wanted to see a woman director,” Streisand said.

She is still understandably salty about reviews from female critics such as Janet Maslin, who described Streisand’s Yentl kippah as a “pillbox-contoured designer yarmulke.”

“None of [the female critics] talked about what the movie was trying to say,” Streisand said. “It was not about what the movie was about — a celebration of women and all they could be.” The criticism stung and, in retrospect, Streisand said it kept her away from directing for years. Yentl came out in 1983, and The Prince of Tides came out in 1991. She also directed The Mirror Has Two Faces, which came out in 1996, and multiple concert specials.

“Not enough women are directing now,” Streisand said. “I love when I see a woman’s name on the film, and then I want to see it be good.”

Barbra Streisand on Hollywood Sexism and Female Film Critics