Barbara Streisand Says Trump Partly to Blame for Florida High School Shooting Tragedy

U.S. president ‘brings out the violence in people,’ Hollywood star and longtime Democrat tells Variety magazine

Barbra Streisand speaking at the 75th Golden Globes awards ceremony, January 7, 2018.
Paul Drinkwater/AP

Hollywood icon Barbra Streisand believes U.S. President Donald Trump shares some of the blame for the recent Florida high school shooting, which claimed the lives of 17 students and adults.

She told film trade magazine Variety on Tuesday: “I think even that shooter [Nikolas Cruz] was affected because Trump brings out the violence in people.”

Streisand, 75, added that Trump “embodies the nasty remarks he makes about other people. He’s a liar. He’s crooked.” 

The lifelong Democrat praised Trump’s presidential rival, Hillary Clinton, noting that the last time she saw her, Streisand told Clinton the reason she didn’t win was that she was “just too smart.”

Streisand also said she still “really believes” Clinton actually won the election. “I’ve talked to senators from Michigan and Wisconsin. I do believe, like I believed during Bush, they were playing with those voter machines,” she told Variety.

The “Yentl” star was giving a rare press interview ahead of Sunday’s 90th Academy Awards ceremony. She blasted what she called “the boys’ club” that has discriminated against female talent in the film industry over the years. Greta Gerwig (“Lady Bird”) is only the fifth woman ever to be nominated in the best director category.

Streisand herself was overlooked in 1984 for her film “Yentl,” but says she didn’t mind the snub for one simple reason: “It really showed the sexism,” she told Variety. “I thought by not being nominated, I put a spotlight on the issue. I thought, ‘Wow. This is so transparent.’”

She provided an example of “the boys’ club” in action from the set of her 1991 movie “The Prince of Tides.” After telling the film’s male star, Nick Nolte, she wouldn’t change the words in a scene due to editing issues, he consulted with the male cinematographer, who backed Nolte up and contradicted his director. Streisand told Variety, “I go over to the camera operator, and I say, ‘Why did you just lie to him?’ He says, ‘It’s the boys’ club.’ Can you imagine? They were protecting him.”

The singer-actor-director-producer also addressed the #MeToo movement, noting her pride in the advances it has made in such a short time in Hollywood. Streisand said she herself had never encountered sexual harassment (“I wasn’t blond enough,” in her words), and that she hadn’t encountered or known about Miramax owner Harvey Weinstein’s alleged predatory behaviour. 

She did, however, recount how he threatened not to work with her on any future movies after she turned down the chance to perform on the soundtrack album of his Broadway musical “Finding Neverland.” “I thought he was a boorish guy,” she noted.

Streisand hasn’t appeared on screen since co-starring with Seth Rogan in the 2012 comedy “The Guilt Trip,” and says the only roles she’s interested in playing now are the French stage actress Sarah Bernhardt and Mama Rose in a film version of the musical “Gypsy.” What she still really wants to do is direct, saying she hopes to make a film about Life magazine photographer Margaret Bourke-White, who was the first foreigner to take pictures of the Soviets’ five-year plan.

Streisand confirmed she has been writing her memoir for the past three and a half years, and told Variety she had just worked out what the dedication should say: “For my mother and all she did for me.” As Streisand points out, “You don’t know if that’s negative or positive” – unlike her views on the current U.S. president.