Sunday, June 16, 2024

Times Have Changed: Barbra Streisand Introduced by Ice Cube–Once Accused of Anti Semitism– at Museum of Tolerance Dinner


Times have changed and everyone’s learned a lot. That was certainly the message last night in Hollywood at the Simon Wiesenthal Center’s dinner for the Museum of Tolerance. Of all people, Ice Cube aka O’Shea Jackson, introduced Barbra Streisand before she toasted Ron Meyer. When the rapper was first starting out, he was accused of anti-Semitism for lyrics that didn’t go over very well. (We won’t repeat them here.) Some people in Hollywood, whose initials are MG, might learn something from this.

Streisand had a lot of great things to say last night about our pal, Ron Meyer, when she honored by the Museum of Tolerance in Los Angeles. The now overall chief of Universal Pictures is everyone in Hollywood’s favorite person– no kidding– and as Barbra says in her toast, everyone in town calls him “Ronnie.” He’s the town mensch, you know. “He’s the king mensch,” Streisand confirmed.

Streisand cited a book she and Meyer like called “The Four Agreements.” She said, riffing: “I think we all know what Ron thinks about assumptions.” She paused and said to someone in the audience: “Do you? It’s [they’re] the Mother of all F*** Ups.”

Barbra also mentioned in her speech that she and husband Jim Brolin spend a lot of time with Meyer and his wife, “playing gin and watching three movies in one night.”

Streisand also blasted Donald Trump:  “Current events are a reminder of how far we have to go.  Hate crimes are high, we are living under an administration that deliberately omitted Jews from the Holocaust Day, he wants to ban people from a specific religion he wants to deport, deportation, what a horrible word, and he praises dictators and criticizes the press.  He uses the bully pulpit to simply bully. Words coded and calibrated to incite the beast in people and not the best.  Now more than ever we must heed the warning signs of the past to echo in the discourse of the present.  History has shown us the horror of quiet whispers, we must be shouting from the rooftops, “never again.”

Also at the event: Simon Wiesenthal Center’s Rabbi Marvin Heir, Michael Douglas, Jeffrey and Marilyn Katzenberg, Norman Lear, producer Irwin Winkler, and producer/director Brett Ratner.

Meyer told the crowd that his parents escaped Nazi Germany and settled in a modest house in West LA.  “I was raised with tolerance and respect for others. “  He then told a story about how he was betrayed by a longtime childhood friend who turned to be a member of the American Nazi party. “When it comes to tolerance, where do we draw the line?  Tolerance can be taken too far. How do we recognize the good from the bad and what do we do about it?  We should embrace tolerance but can’t turn the other cheek.  We cannot surrender to bullies. “

Leah Sydney
Leah Sydney
Leah Sydney writes from Los Angeles for A seasoned journalist with a long history during the halcyon days of the NY Daily News, Leah is a member of the Critics Choice and Rotten Tomatoes.

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