461134381 12 Years a Slave Director Steve McQueen Heckled During Awards CeremonyPhoto by Cindy Ord/Getty Images

Things get heated during awards season, but an event at the awards ceremony for the New York Film Critics Circle last night takes the cake. CityArts film critic Armond White, formerly of the New York Press, took his outspoken criticism of Steve McQueen’s “12 Years a Slave” to new heights last night when he heckled the director just after McQueen accepted the best director award from the group.

The NYFCC ceremony is an elite affair, and last night’s was no different. Attendees and winners included Cate Blanchett and Robert Redford, and Harry Belafonte gave a moving introduction to McQueen before presenting him with the award. After Belafonte’s stirring speech, McQueen took the podium to speak. That’s when White reportedly exclaimed, “You’re an embarrassing doorman and garbage man. F*ck you. Kiss my a**,” among other things.

White wrote in his review of “12 Years a Slave,” “depicting slavery as a horror show, McQueen has made the most unpleasant American movie since William Friedkin’s 1973 ‘The Exorcist.’ That’s right, ’12 Years a Slave’ belongs to the torture porn genre with ‘Hostel,’ ‘The Human Centipede’ and the ‘Saw’ franchise but it is being sold (and mistaken) as part of the recent spate of movies that pretend ‘a conversation about race.’ The only conversation this film inspires would contain howls of discomfort.”

Whatever one’s take on the film might be, chances are good that the people sitting nearby White during the ceremony were also internally howling with discomfort.

[via The Hollywood Reporter]


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