Senior Editor
03.08.10 30 Comments


UPDATE: Thanks to older-brother site WWTDD, now we have video (below). Someone should’ve kept this lady out of the ceremony. You can’t just put a Snuggie on backwards and call it a dress, dude, that’s cheating.

If you were watching the Oscars like I was, the most memorable moment was probably when Music By Prudence director Roger Ross Williams went up to collect his award for best documentary short, and halfway through his speech, some crazy white lady jumped in front of him like bizarro Kanye.  When I saw it, I assumed she was the co-director and just had bad manners. It turns out, she was producer Elinor Burkett, and she’d actually left the project because of a creative dispute.  *gay falsetto* Draaama! /falsetto.  Salon got the whole story, here’s an excerpt:

BURKETT: What happened was the director and I had a bad difference over the direction of the film that resulted in a lawsuit that has settled amicably out of court. But there have been all these events around the Oscars, and I wasn’t invited to any of them. And 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. 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.

BURKETT: The movie was supposed to be about the entire band, Liyana. And the [band members] were very clear they did not want to participate if it ended up being just about one person. The director and HBO decided to focus solely on Prudence . . .

WILLIAMS: Only one person is allowed to accept the award. I was the director, and she was removed from the project nearly a year ago, but she was able to still qualify as a producer on the project, and be an official nominee. But she was very angry — she actually removed herself from the project – because she wanted more creative control.

WILLIAMS: I don’t know what they told her. The academy is very clear that only one person can speak. 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.

SALON: She claims she found the movie’s story, that she brought it to you.
WILLIAMS: No, not at all. The truth is that she saw the band perform [in Zimbabwe], and told me about that, and then I opened up a dialogue with the [King George VI School & Centre for Children with Physical Disabilities] school and went on my own – which you would’ve heard about in my speech — and spent $6,000 going to Africa shooting myself. And when people expressed interest in the film, I asked her to come on board. And then I regretted that decision. Then she sued.

So tell us your side of the story, Elinor.  “Well basically, I’m a mean old cunt…”

She seems like she might have a legitimate beef here, but if you ask me, that’s no reason to pass up a perfectly good “interrupting cow” joke opportunity.

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