Image Credit: Craig Sjodin/ABCWhen Music By Prudence director Roger Ross Williams was interrupted during his acceptance speech for Best Documentary Short during Sunday’s Oscars, viewers were aghast. Who was the woman who cut him off? Why was she up there? Did Kanye West have something to do with this?
Turns out the woman who rushed the stage was Music By Prudence producer Elinor Burkett, whose name had also been called for the award. She tells EW that the confusion began because Williams had refused to discuss beforehand which one of them should speak on stage if they won. (The two aren’t on speaking terms due to a creative conflict over the film.) She also claims she only stepped in because he was neglecting to thank the film’s main subjects, the Zimbabwean band Liyana. And she had a few things to say about being compared to a certain mic-grabbing rapper:
“It’s ridiculous. I won an Oscar. Kanye West injected himself onto the stage where he didn’t belong. I don’t know why everyone is acting like I didn’t have the right to be there. My name was called, and I went up because because I won an Oscar. And that’s the only thing I kind of resent, is people acting like I didn’t get an Oscar. It’s really demeaning and denigrating to somebody who did all the work. The Producer’s Guild certified me as the producer. HBO certified me as the producer. There’s this assumption that [Roger] had more of a right to speak than I did. His Oscar is not bigger than my Oscar.“
[Note: A rep for Williams declined set up an interview with EW, although the director did share his side of the story on last night’s Larry King Live.]