Roger Ross Williams, Oscar-winning director of the documentary Music by Prudence, has had an interesting week. First, he won an Oscar; seconds later, his acceptance speech was interrupted by a onetime collaborator. Tonight, he appeared on Larry King Live.
Williams' documentary short follows 21-year-old Prudence Mabhena, who has overcome physical disabilities, societal rejection and parental neglect to become a renowned singer and educator in her native Zimbabwe. But filmmaker found himself in the middle of his own minor drama last night when the movie's other producer - journalist Elinor Burkett, who dropped out of the project early on but still retained producer credit - pushed in front of him while he gave his acceptance speech before an audience of billions.
A few hours later, Burkett - who alleges that Williams' 87-year-old mother blocked her exit from a Kodak Theater aisle with a cane in order to slow her progress to the Oscar stage - was being called the "Lady Kanye," and fighting back in an interview with Salon in which she claimed, in all seriousness, that Williams had never heard of the country of Zimbabwe before he met her.
Cut to this evening's appearance on Larry King Live, during which Williams got to recite his entire speech. He got interrupted. (Awkward!)
Burkett, of course, had more to say elsewhere. Interviewed by Inside Edition tonight, the journalist said, "Oh come on, grow up. The point is can we focus on the film? Not on ego?" A cursory look at the transcript of her remarks on the Oscar stage suggests she might want to take her own advice.
Update: Anderson Cooper thinks Elinor Burkett is "deranged." Joy Behar, however, loves her, and has invited Burkett on to her HLN show tomorrow evening.