UPDATED: The New York Critics Circle has issued an apology for the heckling:
“On behalf of the New York Film Critics Circle, I apologize sincerely for the crass bit of heckling Mr. McQueen encountered,” NYFCC chair Josh Rothkopf wrote to FOX Searchlight Pictures and McQueen. “I’m mortified to learn that this was from one of our own members. We are taking disciplinary action.”
Armond White exchanged emails with Indiewire’s John Anderson saying that the reports are lies and inaccurate. But when asked whether or not he yelled at McQueen, White said, “Wrong question, John. I was not in a position or vicinity to yell at McQueen. It was talk among my tablemates. The Variety and Wire lines are outright misquotes and lies. You might want to ask why the gutter bloggers continue to misquote and distort the event and NYFCC history.”
Keep in mind, White is a critic that disses movies like Toy Story 3 and There Will be Blood, but praises Adam Sandler’s Jack and Jill.
According to Variety, 12 Years a Slave director Steve McQueen was heckled while he was being awarded for his work at the New York Critics Circle Awards. Apparently, as Harry Belafante was presenting the award to McQueen, CityArts editor Armond White yelled out, “You’re an embarrassing doorman and garbage man. F—you. Kiss my ass.”
What prompted the outburst? White, who gave 12 Years a Slave a negative review, is apparently known for his rudeness and regularly dislikes movies that other critics praise.
McQueen didn’t react to the heckling, he either didn’t hear or ignored him, and thanked the Critics circle for the honor.