Monday, March 8, 2010

Oscar Speech Gets Interrupted...No, Not By Kanye, But By Lady Kanye

Last night's lackluster and predictable 82nd Academy Awards was shaken up when Zimbabwe-based journalist Elinor Burkett interrupted the speech of best documentary winner Roger Ross Williams and didn't let him finish. She must've been taking lessons for Kanye, who is still the best interrupter of all time.

As Roger began his speech, Elinor rushed the stage (even though Roger's mother tried to trip her with a cane) and grabbed the mic. "The man never lets the woman talk. Isn't that just the classic thing?" she said.

There's an interesting back story.

Elinor came up with the idea for the film ("Music by Prudence") and was originally listed as a producer, but later left the project and sued Roger.

After last night's interruption, she told he folks over at

"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. He won't talk to me! This whole week, there have been events thrown by the International Documentary Association, and he hasn't passed any of the invitations on to me....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."

Roger says: "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. It's such a career achievement, to win an Academy Award. This is what the business is. There are times when there's disagreement and dispute and you always hope that people will rise up to the occasion. It doesn't diminish it. She disowns it and doesn't want any part of the film. I'm so proud of the movie."

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