There was a pretty awkward and strange moment during the Oscars last night that has been dubbed Oscars Kanye moment. The moment came when the winner was announced for Best Documentary Short, Music by Prudence. After director/producer Roger Ross Williams went up to accept the Oscar and started to give his speech, producer Elinor Burkett (Crazy Lady) wrestled the microphone away from the director and took away his spotlight. And we had no idea what in the world she was trying to say!
Now... what in the hell was that all about!? Here's the story from both sides thanks to Salon, who spoke with them, and I gotta say it sounds like that woman is just one of those crazy people.
Here is what Elinor Burkett said happened:
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 (The Director)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.
Heres what Director Roger Ross Williams had to say:
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.
As for the decision of who would speak,
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.
On her claim that she came up with the idea,
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.
Then there's the whole mom blocking her with the cain thing,
My mother got up to hug me. And my mother is 87 years old. She was excited.
So there ya have it. That's the backstory of what happened with that whole thing. It sounds like she was just one of those headaches that wouldn't go away.