Oscars: ’12 Years A Slave’ Screenplay Rift Between Steve McQueen, John Ridley Boils Over

Source:  / TheWrap

Long before each came away with an Academy Award, “12 Years a Slave” director Steve McQueen and screenwriter John Ridley were embroiled in a bitter feud regarding credit for the film’s Oscar-winning screenplay, a fight they kept quiet for the good of the campaign before it came to a head Sunday night at the Dolby Theatre.

Ridley turned down McQueen’s request for shared screenplay credit, TheWrap has learned. He won the Oscar for Best Adapted Screenplay on Sunday and did not thank the director in his acceptance speech, striding past him on his way to the podium but pausing to hug director David O. Russell. Some observers interpreted McQueen’s unsmiling applause as half-hearted.


McQueen later took the microphone at the end of the evening when “12 Years a Slave” won Best Picture, and made no mention of the writer. While McQueen lost the Best Director award to Alfonso Cuaron (“Gravity”), he was one of five producers to win Best Picture for “Slave” along with Brad Pitt, Dede Gardner, Jeremy Kleiner and Anthony Katagas.

Apparently, the bad blood between McQueen and Ridley has persisted for some time. McQueen has paid respect to Ridley’s contribution in interviews, though he has never been effusive in his praise, not that McQueen often is (outside of Michael Fassbender). An individual familiar with the frosty situation tells TheWrap that McQueen has iced Ridley out to the point of rudeness — he barred people from speaking to Ridley and insisted that the writer be seated at separate tables at awards shows late in the season, including the BAFTAs.

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    That GIF is funny but it’s too bad they fellout. Keep it classy and professional gentlemen.

  • E_Joyce

    I am not personally thrilled with Ridley anyway, don’t like his political rhetoric. But everyone has a right to his or her POV.


    No wonder white people look at us like wtf here both men brings a good A+ movie and can’t agree over credit, also in this piece I read the term “slave” as short way of referring to the movie??? If its so respected as a movie refer to its title in its entirety. As far as theses two we understand the causes,envy jealousy $$$ all that detracts from the movie. # Opinion.