Playwright Larry Kramer has claimed that gay icon Barbra Streisand is “uncomfortable” with gay sex, and held up production of The Normal Heart because she found it “distasteful”.

Kramer, who wrote the autobiographical stage version of AIDS drama The Normal Heart in 1985, made the comments to the New York Times.

The veteran LGBT activist claims that Streisand held the rights to a film project based on the play for years, but held up production because she found it distasteful.

He said: “The problems with her is she didn’t know what to do with it. She also was really uncomfortable with the subject of gay sex.’

“I said: ‘I really think it’s important that after eons of watching men and women make love in the movies, it’s time to see two men do so’.

“I bought her a book of very beautiful art pictures of two men making love, and she found it very distasteful.”

Streisand has since released a statement clarifying that her issues with the production were about “taste, not gender”.

She said: “Larry was at the forefront of this battle and, God love him, he’s still fighting

“But there’s no need to fight me by misrepresenting my feelings.

“As a filmmaker, I have always looked for new and exciting ways to do love scenes, whether they’re about heterosexuals or homosexuals. It’s a matter of taste, not gender.

“I was trying to reach a large audience, and I wanted them to root for these two men to get married.”

A film version of The Normal Heart, starring Mark Ruffalo and Matt Bomer, is set to première on HBO in the US on May 25, but UK screenings have yet to be announced.