There's a feud behind the film that just took the Best Picture category at the 86th Annual Academy Awards. Steve McQueen, the director of "12 Years a Slave", and John Ridley, the screenwriter of the slave drama are not in good terms over the credit on the movie's script.
The tension between the two was felt at the Oscars ceremony on Sunday, March 2 when Ridley walked right past McQueen when he went onstage to accept his award of Best Adapted Screenplay. The camera also happened to capture McQueen's tepid clap when Ridley was declared a winner.
Ridley thanked cast and crew in his acceptance speech but did not mention McQueen. Instead, he thanked co-producer Jeremy Kleiner, saying, "Jeremy, you made the film happen." And when the cast and crew went up the stage to receive the Best Picture honor, McQueen also did not bother to thank the screenwriter but thanked everyone else.
An explanation came from columnist Nikki Finke after the Oscars. "My sources attributing John Ridley-Steve McQueen cold shoulder at Oscars tonight to dispute over screenplay credit," Finke tweeted on Monday.
More about the feud was uncovered by The Wrap. Ridley wrote the screenplay of "12 Years a Slave" on McQueen's request and handed it to him for free in return for eventual compensation. McQueen apparently contributed to the script that he asked for a co-writing credit but Ridley refused to give him so. WGA and Fox Searchlight took on Ridley's side.
The beef has been so bad that McQueen reportedly asked people to stop speaking to Ridley. The Wrap also went on detailing an event when Ridley made McQueen's wife cry.