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Last Updated: Wednesday, 5 November, 2003, 17:00 GMT
Streisand slates Reagans TV axe
James Brolin as Ronald Reagan
Striesand's husband, actor James Brolin, played Ronald Reagan
Barbra Streisand has criticised a TV network's decision not to show a drama about former US president Ronald Reagan that starred her husband James Brolin.

The singer described the CBS network's decision not to screen The Reagans as a "sad day for artistic freedom".

CBS admitted the programme, starring Brolin as the former president, did not present a "balanced portrayal" after concerns from Mr Reagan's supporters.

Streisand said the network "caved in to right wing Republican pressure".

A Democrat Party activist, she added: "This was an organised Republican spin machine at work. This is censorship, pure and simple."

Ronald Reagan
Mr Reagan's daughter Patti Davis said the script was "cruel"
The two-part drama will now be shown on cable channel Showtime, which is owned by CBS' parent company Viacom.

But Mr Reagan's daughter, Patti Davis, accused the show's producers of "astounding carelessness and cruelty" and said CBS did the "right thing" in pulling it from schedules.

The script was "quite simply, idiotic", she wrote on Time Magazine's website.

Her father was caricatured as a "demented evangelist", she wrote, while her mother Nancy was made out to be "a female Attila the Hun".

"To deliberately and calculatingly depict public people as shallow, intolerant, cold and inept, with no truths or facts to back up the portrayals, is nothing short of malevolent," she wrote.

'Impressive performances'

"And my father, obviously, cannot correct the lies told about him."

Mr Reagan is now 92 and suffers from Alzheimer's disease. He was president for eight years from 1981.

On Tuesday, a CBS statement said the mini-series featured "impressive production values and acting performances" and producers had sources to verify every scene.

But it continued: "We believe it does not present a balanced portrayal of the Reagans for CBS and its audience."

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