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The story behind the Oscars' Kanye moment you didn't even know happened

03.08.2010

If you're like me, you were refilling your beer during the acceptance speech for Best Documentary Short, but if you were watching, you saw a rather odd moment with a confused black dude and a crazy white woman. I just figured they were rushing through their speech from what I could hear, but what actually happened is far more interesting.

The guy was Roger Ross Williams, the director of MUSIC BY PRUDENCE (which totally won me a point in the Joblo Oscar pool) and the woman was Elinor Burkett, a producer of the film. Apparently, she and Williams had disagreements over the film to the point where she wasn’t even supposed to speak if the film won. Welllll, it appears she wasn’t happy with that decision. Salon investigated, and Burkett tells her side of the story:

People are already saying you "pulled a Kanye." What happened?

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.

Can you explain the reason behind the conflict?

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...

...The movie was my idea. I live in Zimbabwe. Roger had never even heard of Zimbabwe before I told him about this. And you know, I felt my role in this has been denigrated again and again, and it wasn't going to happen this time.

“His mother took her cane and blocked me.” "Roger had never even heard of Zimbabwe." Alright, this is actually a pretty awesome story. Granted, I wish it was George Clooney and Jeff Bridges getting in a fist fight over Best Actor, but I guess this will have to do. Read the full interview over at Salon and you can see a video of the moment in question below.

Extra Tidbit: To be fair, they did call her name. It’s not like the guys from RABBIT A LA BERLIN stormed the stage.
Source: Salon

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6:32PM on 03/08/2010

really?!?

First of all, the director and HBO made a decision that resulted in an OSCAR. We'll never know if her idea was ever any good to begin with, but you can;t argue with results. And he handled it way cooler than she did, he just smiled and let her talk. Ma dukes DID try to run interference though! haha
First of all, the director and HBO made a decision that resulted in an OSCAR. We'll never know if her idea was ever any good to begin with, but you can;t argue with results. And he handled it way cooler than she did, he just smiled and let her talk. Ma dukes DID try to run interference though! haha
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+0
6:26PM on 03/08/2010

?

Wow. Way to go to film this off the tv.. x
Wow. Way to go to film this off the tv.. x
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5:58PM on 03/08/2010
I like this lady. fuck that guys cunt mother for blocking her with a cane.
I like this lady. fuck that guys cunt mother for blocking her with a cane.
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4:04PM on 03/08/2010
I NEW something was up with that. That woman actually seems cooler than that guy anyways. HIP.
I NEW something was up with that. That woman actually seems cooler than that guy anyways. HIP.
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3:51PM on 03/08/2010
That moment was fucking hilarious. FAIL
That moment was fucking hilarious. FAIL
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3:25PM on 03/08/2010
*Sniff Sniff* I smell additional lawsuits coming her way. I kept waiting for the guys in white coats to come or an exorcist to come up on stage
*Sniff Sniff* I smell additional lawsuits coming her way. I kept waiting for the guys in white coats to come or an exorcist to come up on stage
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3:11PM on 03/08/2010
Interesting story, but this will be forgotten in 3...2...1...
Interesting story, but this will be forgotten in 3...2...1...
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3:11PM on 03/08/2010
It does look like she pulled a Kanye but before she runs up you can clearly see Carey Mulligan holding her Oscar and wondering why she hasn't made it up to the stage to take it out of her hands. Her name is announced too. I don't care what events transpired before, if your name is called and and that dudes mom tries to oscar block you. Go up there and interrupt the sh*t out of him.
It does look like she pulled a Kanye but before she runs up you can clearly see Carey Mulligan holding her Oscar and wondering why she hasn't made it up to the stage to take it out of her hands. Her name is announced too. I don't care what events transpired before, if your name is called and and that dudes mom tries to oscar block you. Go up there and interrupt the sh*t out of him.
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-10
2:10PM on 03/08/2010

That dude's Mom is a b*tch

Being a producer myself, I know that a lot of the work for any type of film is not only done by the director but also the producer and considering she was the one behind the idea (or so she claims) she had every right to be on the stage. She should have been a little more polite about it but I don't think what she did was that bad. I wish I would have seen this when I was watching but like everyone else tuned it out because most of the time I've never seen the movies up for this award...
Being a producer myself, I know that a lot of the work for any type of film is not only done by the director but also the producer and considering she was the one behind the idea (or so she claims) she had every right to be on the stage. She should have been a little more polite about it but I don't think what she did was that bad. I wish I would have seen this when I was watching but like everyone else tuned it out because most of the time I've never seen the movies up for this award...
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+6
1:53PM on 03/08/2010
not that i was paying much attention to this award segment anyway....but i did think she was crazy and tuned that part out even more than i had to begin with
not that i was paying much attention to this award segment anyway....but i did think she was crazy and tuned that part out even more than i had to begin with
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+6
1:34PM on 03/08/2010

What a B!@#h

If I was this guy I would of done something to cut her off, it was his moment and not hers. When I was watching it I thought who the hell is this person because it went from a nice acceptance speech to chaos. I just feel bad for the director
If I was this guy I would of done something to cut her off, it was his moment and not hers. When I was watching it I thought who the hell is this person because it went from a nice acceptance speech to chaos. I just feel bad for the director
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1:32PM on 03/08/2010
At least Kanye tried to be polite. "Imma let you finish" was better than Godzilla here.
At least Kanye tried to be polite. "Imma let you finish" was better than Godzilla here.
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+14
1:15PM on 03/08/2010

you could just tell that woman

is a B---- by looking at her. I'll take the guy's side on this one.
is a B---- by looking at her. I'll take the guy's side on this one.
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+10
12:57PM on 03/08/2010

Mammy should have knee-capped the bitch

Okay, so the movie that won was not at all the movie this nutbar wanted to see made. She wanted something very different, but the moment it won, she's up there in a flash demanding credit and bad-mouthing the guy who actually directed it.

Yikes. She makes dumb-ass Kanye seem rational (that's not saying much) -- and he was drunk!
Okay, so the movie that won was not at all the movie this nutbar wanted to see made. She wanted something very different, but the moment it won, she's up there in a flash demanding credit and bad-mouthing the guy who actually directed it.

Yikes. She makes dumb-ass Kanye seem rational (that's not saying much) -- and he was drunk!
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12:31PM on 03/08/2010

definetly was a noticable weird moment

she just seemed to be saying words at random
she just seemed to be saying words at random
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+4
12:28PM on 03/08/2010
OT but did Clooney look pi$$ed last night? Or was he just giving a stern look to the hosts to keep them from embarassing him?
OT but did Clooney look pi$$ed last night? Or was he just giving a stern look to the hosts to keep them from embarassing him?
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+16
12:19PM on 03/08/2010

lol

at first i thought she was some crazy person who got up on stage some how.. she's a cunt for pulling that shit, security should have rushed the stage and tackled her.. that would have been amazing
at first i thought she was some crazy person who got up on stage some how.. she's a cunt for pulling that shit, security should have rushed the stage and tackled her.. that would have been amazing
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+2
12:11PM on 03/08/2010

the other side of the story

from Salon:
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.

But couldn't you decide ahead of time who would speak?

WILLIAMS: That was handled by the publicist for the academy. I don't know what they told her. The academy is very clear that only one person
from Salon:
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.

But couldn't you decide ahead of time who would speak?

WILLIAMS: That was handled by the publicist for the academy. 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.
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12:02PM on 03/08/2010
well at least that lady had something to do with the award (i may be wrong i didnt watch the video i hate awkwardness)...unlike kanyas outburst,that mans a d!ck
well at least that lady had something to do with the award (i may be wrong i didnt watch the video i hate awkwardness)...unlike kanyas outburst,that mans a d!ck
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12:02PM on 03/08/2010
All I saw was a really gay talking, soft spoken, creepy dude and an angry, fat, awkwardly shaped, loud mouthed white bitch rambling about nothing. Seeing it live was really surreal.
All I saw was a really gay talking, soft spoken, creepy dude and an angry, fat, awkwardly shaped, loud mouthed white bitch rambling about nothing. Seeing it live was really surreal.
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1:19PM on 03/08/2010
uh oh, you called someone gay, 5 thumbs down for you! what you described was exactly what was seen
uh oh, you called someone gay, 5 thumbs down for you! what you described was exactly what was seen
2:47PM on 03/08/2010
haha.. thanks Conz
haha.. thanks Conz
-5
11:50AM on 03/08/2010

uh

i would have hated to see clooney and bridges fight. I dont know if that was a joke or what
i would have hated to see clooney and bridges fight. I dont know if that was a joke or what
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