*The New York Film Critics Circle has issued a formal apology for the behavior of at least one of its member critics at last night’s awards ceremony when director Steve McQueen accepted his prize for “12 Years A Slave.”
As previously reported, Variety identified the heckler as CityArts editor and well known contrarian critic Armond White, who shouted out, “You’re an embarrassing doorman and garbage man. F**k you. Kiss my a**,” after the filmmaker was introduced in an impassioned speech by Harry Belafonte.
The apology was issued to McQueen and the film’s distributor, Fox Searchlight, by NYCC chair Joshua Rothkopf. It reads:
It truly was a wonderful night: We felt like we were in the presence of
something truly historic, with Mr. Belafonte’s exquisite presentation and Mr.
McQueen’s elegant words of acceptance.
Unfortunately, the moment was slightly marred, and I’d like to address that
On behalf of the New York Film Critics Circle, I apologize sincerely for the
crass bit of heckling Mr. McQueen encountered. I’m mortified to learn that this
was from one of our own members. We are taking disciplinary action.
I’m especially pained that this occurred in your case. Rarely do we receive
thank-you notes, as Steve sent us after the vote. Moreover, his speech showed a
deep understanding of the history of our award winners: an honored group in
which he stands as an equal.
Please forward our apology on to him.
Thank you, your talent and your team for making the night a special one,
Joshua Rothkopf, 2013 Chair, NYFCC