WTF was going on with the Oscars “Kanye” moment?

The most entertaining part of last night’s ceremony (besides definite proof Kathy Ireland is still alive and well), was the really strange moment that occured when the winner of Best Documentary Short for Music by Prudence, Roger Ross Williams, was interrupted by a woman to talk about the film. Williams had a confused look on his face the entire time and tried to take the mike back to finish his speech, but wasn’t able to complete it in the alloted time. Salon was on the case and uncovered that the woman, the “Kanye” so to speak was producer Elinor Burkett, who’d been entangled in a legal drama with Williams over the film. She claims she wasn’t invited to any of the pre-Oscar events that Williams had been attending on behalf of the movie and that William’s mother, who attended the ceremony tried to block her from going onstage with her cane!

What happened was the director and I had a bad difference over the direction of the film that resulted in a lawsuit that has settled amicably out of court. But there have been all these events around the Oscars, and I wasn’t invited to any of them. And he’s not speaking to me. So we weren’t even able to discuss ahead of the time who would be the one person allowed to speak if we won. And then, as I’m sure you saw, when we won, he raced up there to accept the award. And his mother took her cane and blocked me. So I couldn’t get up there very fast.

Williams also spoke to Salon and retaliated by saying that Burkett pulled out of the project herself and has no claims to the movie. Even if she did, he says that the Academy told him that only one person was allowed to speak during the acceptance speech. As for his mother, well, she was happy for him and had gotten up to hug him. He makes no mention of her cane.

Only one person is allowed to accept the award. I was the director, and she was removed from the project nearly a year ago, but she was able to still qualify as a producer on the project, and be an official nominee. But she was very angry — she actually removed herself from the project – because she wanted more creative control.

Perhaps tackiest of all, was that the star of the film herself, a parapalegic singer (she’s pictured below), attended the Awards ceremony, and wasn’t even allowed to enjoy the moment of the victory thanks to Burkett’s outburst.

Williams’ full acceptance speech was posted on the Music By Prudence website and he’ll also be reading it on tonight’s Larry King Live, where hopefully we’ll get even more details about this backstage drama!

“Thank you, Academy. Thank you, Sheila Nevins, Sara Bernstein, my producer Elinor Burkett and my incredible crew.

And my mother Betty… she got on a plane for the first time in her life to be here – I love you, Mom!

And Prudence Mahbena…

Prudence was born in a country that despises the disabled. Prudence, you had nothing… nothing but spirit, intelligence, and talent. And with your band Liyana you touched us all.

Liyana means It’s raining, which in Zimbabwe is a gift from God.
We don’t always recognize the gifts we get and Prudence, I’m so very happy to be a part of recognizing you tonight.

I love you!!”