Did it not cross your mind that, when John Ridley won the Oscar for best adapted screenplay on Sunday (March 2, 2014), he was sat nowhere near the rest of the '12 Years a Slave' team and bypassed director Steve McQueen to hug American Hustle filmmaker David O' Russell?
Benedict Cumberbatch [L] and Chiwetel Ejiofor [R] in '12 Years a Slave'
Ridley did not mention McQueen in his acceptance speech and the director hardly rose to his feet when the screenwriter took the award. Later in the evening, when 12 Years won Best Picture, McQueen failed to mention the man that wrote the movie deemed the best of the year.
So how did the relationship become so frosty? The rumors in Hollywood suggest the pair have been at odds for some time over screenwriting credits, leaving producer Brad Pitt having to play the peacemaker, unsuccessfully.
According to The Wrap, McQueen requested a writing credit for the screenplay though The Root's Stephen A. Crockett Jr's suggests Ridley is notoriously reluctant for denying credits even if the work in question includes heavy rewrites. Ridley apparently feuded with Three Kings director O'Russell over the very same thing.
Back to The Wrap, who claim all parties involved in the 12 Years dispute agreed to remain silent about the beef so as to not risk compromising the movie's Oscars chances.
Chiwetel Ejiofor [L] and Michael Fassbender [R] in '12 Years a Slave'
McQueen had originally tapped Ridley to write a slave script that turned into 12 Years a Slave after the director's wife discovered Solomon Northrup's book about a free man sold into slavery. Though it is known that McQueen certainly had a hand in the completed screenplay, Ridley was keen to ensure he was the sole writer attributed to the Oscar winning script.
A source privy to the dispute claims McQueen barred people from speaking to Ridley and insisted that the pair be seated apart at awards shows including the British Academy of Film Television Arts, and possibly the Oscars, when Ridley had a long walk to the stage to collect his award.
At the BAFTA's, McQueen allegedly berated Ridley's wife while the writer was in the bathroom. The director apparently left her in tears, according to two sources who spoke with The Wrap.
On that evening, 12 Years a Slave took top honors and McQueen failed to thank Ridley until another producer appeared to whisper in his ear.
Some pesky social media users have already mocked up GIF's of McQueen's lacklustre applause when Ridley won the Oscar, as well as the writer side-eyeing McQueen on his way to the stage. Check out the Vine below:
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