Elinor Burkett interrupted Roger Ross Williams' Oscar acceptance speech Sunday, in what's being described as the "Kanye moment" of the Academy Awards.
Williams, the director-producer for "Music by Prudence," a film about a disabled Zimbabwean musician, took to the stage Sunday evening to accept the award for best documentary short. Williams got just a few sentences into his speech when he was interrupted and dominated by Elinor Burkett, another producer of the film.
Williams stood on stage while Burkett raved about the people behind "Music by Prudence."
Burkett explained in a post-speech interview with Salon that the pair had a disagreement over the "direction of the film" and that she was late to the podium because Williams' mother used a cane to keep her from the stage.
BURKETT: What happened was [Williams] 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.
Burkett went on to say that Williams hadn't even heard of Zimbabwe until she told him about the country:
BURKETT: 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.
Williams disagreed with Burkett's version of events, saying that he was the one to get in touch with the film's subjects and that his mother wasn't trying to block Burkett from making her way to the stage.
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