John Ridley denies feud with Steve McQueen

Ridley says his real regret is not making it clear that he was thanking his wife in his acceptance speech.
By Annie Martin  |  March 10, 2014 at 2:02 PM
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AUSTIN, Texas, March 10 (UPI) -- 12 Years a Slave writer John Ridley has denied rumors of a feud between himself and the film's director, Steve McQueen.

Rumors of a conflict between the two began shortly after Ridley won Best Adapted Screenplay at this year's Academy Awards. McQueen was caught on camera offering half-hearted applause for the writer, and Ridley failed to mention or thank the director in his acceptance speech. Some said the Oscar ceremony behavior was due to a dispute over screenplay credit for the film.

Ridley told Entertainment Weekly that the omission in his acceptance speech was not intentional.

"I do regret it [omitting McQueen]. But just twenty-four hours earlier at the Spirit Awards I sincerely went on and on about Steve and my work with him. You know, the guy changed my life. At the Oscars you have thirty seconds to talk and it's like the oxygen drops out of the room. I know [when I heard my name called] I hugged my wife twice, I know David O. Russell, again this person people think I have beef with, was the first guy to hug me, I know Meryl Streep reached out and touched my arm."

Ridley went on to say that his real regret of the night was not being clear that the script coordinator he thanked in the speech is his wife Gayle, "I don't think most people got that. Wow, I screwed up. Well, I know she got it."

The writer attributed the rumors to media dependence on easy narratives and joked, "At the very least we weren't Zero Dark Thirty. Nobody set up a congressional investigation. This year it's who hugged and kissed who and who didn't."

[Entertainment Weekly]

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