It really diminishes the gravity of the message crafted by 12 Years a Slave writer John Ridley and director Steve McQueen when, following their tale of human suffering and inequality, they can’t put their differences aside for the Oscars. Many saw the cold shoulders flying back and forth with Ridley not thanking McQueen, and McQueen offering up a sarcastic seal clap (the most insincere type of clap there is) upon Ridley’s Academy Award presentation.
So what’s the source of this consternation? By all accounts, it tracks back to dispute over a screenwriting credit. Huh. That’s pretty dumb. McQueen had requested a screenwriting credit for his work, and Ridley said no. This upset McQueen, who forbade people from speaking to Ridley and demanded seating apart from him at earlier awards shows.
Brad Pitt, a producer, eventually got involved and told McQueen to cool it during the awards season, lest the feud torpedo the film’s chances. It apparently didn’t, but the fact that we’re talking about this silly thing now, and not the film may speak to the legacy of these two bickering men.