12 Years a Slave screenwriter John Ridley is clearing the air about his alleged snub of director Steve McQueen at the Academy Awards.
Ridley failed to recognize McQueen when he accepted his best adapted screenplay Oscar, igniting rumors that the duo were in the midst of a dispute over credit for writing the acclaimed film.
“Listen, without Steve McQueen, I wouldn’t have this Oscar tonight,” Ridley told the New York Post at Vanity Fair’s Oscars after-party. “I owe a lot to the genius of Steve McQueen, and I am forever grateful to have had the chance to work with him.”
When asked if meant to overlook McQueen, Ridley said, “Of course not. I had less than two minutes to thank everybody, and I was so caught up in the emotion of the moment when I was onstage.”
According to industry sources, tension between the Ridley and McQueen has been brewing since the BAFTA awards in February, where the director allegedly had a heated confrontation with the screenwriter backstage.
“Ridley’s wife thought Steve was talking to her, she was upset,” a source told the Post, adding McQueen later called to apologize to Ridley.
12 Years a Slave took home the best picture and best supporting actress awards in addition to adapted screenplay.