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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. Itís not like the guys from RABBIT A LA BERLIN stormed the stage.
Source: Salon

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