Barbra Streisand chose not to introduce A Star Is Born at the Academy Awards, leaving film fans puzzled as to why she would instead choose to sing the praises of Spike Lee’s BlacKkKlansman in its quest to win the Best Picture award.
Streisand starred in the second remake of the film alongside Kris Kristofferson, which was released to theaters in 1976. The film cemented Streisand’s star, following her Oscar win in the category of Best Actress for Funny Girl. She won an Academy Award for Best Original Song for “Evergreen,” the love song from her version of A Star Is Born.
Ironically, Lady Gaga also won a Best Original Song Oscar for her updated version of the film, alongside Mark Ronson, Anthony Rossomando, and Andrew Wyatt. Although it would have been a fabulous Oscar moment for Streisand to present A Star Is Born as an Academy Award nominee and pass the torch to Gaga, the music legend chose to speak of a film that “moved” her instead.
Streisand was apparently very taken with Lee’s film, so much so she chose to stand proudly in support of the movie on the Dolby Theatre stage, reported Page Six. The outlet suggested that while Spike and Barbra “aren’t great pals,” Streisand “loved that movie.”
Streisand praised the film on the Oscars stage, and also alluded to the fact that both she and Lee hail from the borough of Brooklyn, New York. Perhaps Streisand was Lee’s lucky charm, as he went on to win an Oscar for Best Adapted Screenplay for the film.
“When I first saw BlacKkKlansman, I was stunned. I was very excited, and I was very moved. It had everything a great film should have. It was so real, so funny and yet so horrifying because it was based on the truth,” said Streisand.
“The truth is especially precious these days,” Streisand continued, as quoted by The Hollywood Reporter.
According to IMDB, BlacKkKlansman is the true story of Ron Stallworth, an African-American police officer from Colorado Springs, Colorado, who manages to infiltrate the local Ku Klux Klan branch with the help of a Jewish surrogate who eventually becomes its leader.
Lee said after accepting his award that he wanted to praise “our ancestors” who built the country into what it was today. He also asked the audience and viewers to connect with their ancestors, explaining that in doing so, everyone would have “love and wisdom and regain our humanity.”