Yesterday’s story about Armond White heckling (well, allegedly heckling, but we’ll get to that) 12 Years a Slave director Steve McQueen at the New York Film Critics Circle Awards seemed pretty much par for course, considering there have been at least three past Armond White heckling incidents (allegedly). And yet, this most recent incident was apparently a big enough deal that the NYFCC, of which Armond White is a three-time past chairman, has called an “emergency meeting.”
I love the idea of a meeting of film critics being called an “emergency.” Gentlemen! What we decide here could save lives!
The organization has set an emergency meeting for Monday, Jan. 13 at Lincoln Center to discuss what to do about the situation.
This morning, Variety has learned, chairman Joshua Rothkopf, a senior writer for Time Out New York, sent a mass email to the other members. The subject line was “Ruined.”
“I was looking forward to sending out a post-show email of thanks to everyone who helped make last night so special,” the email said. “Instead, I’m met this morning with links to no less than TEN pieces of reporting from around the world — not about Harry Belafonte’s magnificent speech or the two standing ovations, but about the heckling. I also have a perturbed email from Barry Dale Johnson at Fox Searchlight that will require a response. In short: damage control.”
“It amazes me that we have members who are so self-serving, they would sacrifice the decorum of the group … solely to satisfy their egos,” Rothkopf added.
I can’t believe some of our members would be so self-serving that they’d take the attention away from our self-serving awards show! Is there no decorum left in our once august profession? SEIZE MR. WHITE’S CRAVAT AT ONCE!
This is all silly and fun, but do you have anything in the way of childish bickering?
A dozen or so other critics started to weigh in, including New York Post’s Lou Lumenick, who asked, “Do we really want to keep fueling the story?”
“You know what, Lou? Coming from you, that’s a f*cking laugh,” Rothkopf promptly wrote back to the entire chain. “I have no problem saying this now with the event over, but at this upcoming meeting, we’re also going to discuss YOUR ridiculous confrontation with me at the voting meeting, YOUR flagrant reporting of the vote totals and YOUR expulsion.” [Variety]
But according to Variety, the NYFCC’s bylaws don’t include a provision for expelling members, so it looks like they’re stuck with Armond White for the time being. Which is a good thing for us, because film critics bickering is a much more entertaining story than their predictable taste in awards-bait movies. Guys, guys, is that really so hard to understand? Did you really think people were going to report on the speeches and the clapping?