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Did Barbra Streisand and Meryl Streep Dis Baz Luhrman at the Oscars?

Even though it's been some six weeks since the 2009 Oscars went down, in awards guru Tom O'Neil's world, it's never too late to stir up some controversy. Over at his essential Gold Derby blog, O'Neil reports that a source close to the production of this year's ceremony confirmed that both Barbra Streisand and Meryl Streep declined invitations to take part in Baz Luhrman's huge musical production number, one that would eventually go on to feature the likes of Beyonce and Zac Efron. As you'll recall, in the days leading up to the late February ceremony, a number of (then unnamed) celebrities began dropping out of the show like proverbial flies. And while O'Neil's report clears Streep of any wrongdoing (she apparently declined the invite as soon as it was offered), Barbra Streisand doesn't get off so easily.

According to O'Neil's sources, Streisand was asked to briefly appear on stage singing a few bars from West Side Story's "Somewhere." However, rather than going the Streep route and offering up a polite yet firm "No," Babs allegedly kept Luhrman and the show's producers "dangling" while they "wooed [her] in grand diva style," only to drop out of the telecast "at the last moment." What's this now? Streisand possibly acting like a diva? Why, we never would've thought something like this would happen, not in a million years!

While we'll likely never know the true story (Streisand's flacks refused to comment), we're hopeful that Babs will make it up to Baz and the rest of the Oscar team next year by agreeing to participate in a showstopping "You Don't Bring Me Flowers" duet with Hugh Jackman. After all, that would be the righteous thing to do.

Did Barbra Streisand and Meryl Streep refuse to croon at the Oscars? [Gold Derby/LAT]

Photo: Patrick McMullan