The Oscars delivered on many levels Sunday night (March 7), even providing an unexpected “Kanye West” episode.
In a bizarre moment during the 82nd Academy Awards, “Music by Prudence” producer Elinor Burkett commandeered the microphone from director-producer Roger Ross Williams after their documentary short won the Oscar.
In the middle of his speech, Burkett began talking, while he stood there bemused. Although the incident wasn’t quite as dramatic as Kanye West interrupting Taylor Swift’s acceptance speech at the 2009 MTV Video Music Awards, it was apparent that something was not quite right.
See for yourself:
Salon got the dirt from both sides, and it’s a matter of he said, she said, in which Burkett wanted more creative control over how the documentary should be shot. There was a lawsuit, words were exchanged, bad blood festered. Williams says that even though Burkett still had a producer’s credit on the film, that’s about it, since she had “disowned” the film.
Unfortunately, only one person was allowed to speak at the Oscars for that category, and both parties had a different opinion about who would get that honor.
“He’s not speaking to me. So we weren’t even able to discuss ahead of the time who would be the one person allowed to speak if we won,” says Burkett. “And then, as I’m sure you saw, when we won, he raced up there to accept the award. And his mother took her cane and blocked me. So I couldn’t get up there very fast.”
Williams tells a different story: “I own the film. She has no claim whatsoever. She has nothing to do with the movie. She just ambushed me. I was sort of in shock. I just expected her to stand there. I had a speech prepared. She pulled a Kanye. And it’s a shame, because this is such positive, happy film.”
And what about his mom and the notorious cane maneuver?
“My mother got up to hug me. And my mother is 87 years old. She was excited.”
Photo credit: Getty