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Inside The '12 Years A Slave' Writer Vs. Director Beef Smelled Around The World

By / 03.04.14

Somehow it slipped my notice (*cough* drinking game! *cough, cough*), but plenty of others noted the apparent tension between 12 Years A Slave writer John Ridley, who took home best adapted screenplay, and 12 Years A Slave director Steve McQueen, who accepted best picture, on Oscars night. An awkwardness notably illustrated in the above shot of McQueen clapping for Ridley in a not-at-all facetious manner. Ridley ignored McQueen on his way to the podium, hugging David O. Russell instead, and neither thanked the other in their speeches.

So what gives? Was it a refilling-the-toilet-paper feud? A fight over who called shotgun? A sack-tap incident gone wrong? Nope, turns out it was a fight over writing credit, according to TheWrap. Dang, that was going to be my fourth guess.

Ridley turned down McQueen’s request for shared screenplay credit, TheWrap has learned. [...] McQueen tapped Ridley to work on a separate slavery-themed project that eventually led to “12 Years a Slave” after McQueen’s wife discovered the book, which Ridley subsequently agreed to adapt on spec. McQueen had a hand in shaping the script that Ridley turned in, but when he asked the writer for shared credit — not uncommon in Hollywood — Ridley politely declined, an individual with knowledge of the situation told TheWrap. Fox Searchlight sided with the writer, while producer Brad Pitt has personally been trying to mediate the growing feud.

And if Brad Pitt can’t get these two to make up, who can? I hear Pitt was instrumental in resolving the great George Clooney/Casey Affleck peanut butter scoop rift of 2004.

Getty Image


Apparently, the bad blood between McQueen and Ridley has persisted for some time. McQueen has paid respect to Ridley’s contribution in interviews, though he has never been effusive in his praise, not that McQueen often is (outside of Michael Fassbender). An individual familiar with the frosty situation tells TheWrap that McQueen has iced Ridley out to the point of rudeness — he barred people from speaking to Ridley and insisted that the writer be seated at separate tables at awards shows late in the season, including the BAFTAs.
That’s where McQueen berated Ridley’s wife while the writer was in the bathroom, trying to snatch up her BAFTA souvenirs and leaving her in tears, according to two insiders who passed along details of the outburst.

Wives getting caught up in their husbands’ work feuds? What is this, opposite day?! Women be shoppin’, am I right guys?

You wonder who this unnamed insider is, with all the juicy insider goss, on this, how should we say, frosty icy beef situation. My guess? Frank Stallone.

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TAGSCELEBRITY BEEFSFIGHT FIGHT FIGHTJOHN RIDLEYOSCARS 2014STEVE MCQUEEN

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