Lost in all the excitement about Sandra Bullock photo shows and breathless reports about Charlize Theron's dress last night was the fact that some apparently crazy woman interrupted the Oscar acceptance speech by Music By Prudence director/producer Roger Ross Williams, who won the usually not-so-tumultuous Best Documentary Short Subject prize.
The woman, wearing a purple...thing, turns out to be Elinor Burkett, a journalist and one-time producer of the film who, according to Williams, had previously decided to remove herself from the Prudence project. Ah, but flash a little Oscar gold and you get this, according to the official ABC transcript:
Williams: Oh my god. This is amazing. Two years ago when I got on an airplane and went to Zimbabwe, I never imagined in my wildest dreams that I'd end up here. This is so exciting. This is so exciting. So exciting.
Burkett: ...Let the woman talk. Isn't that the classic thing? In a world in which most of us are told and tell ourselves that we can't. Liyana, the band behind this film, teaches us that we're wrong. Against all odds they did, so we can. So the bottom line is, to me, my role models and my heroes, Marvelous and Energy, Tapiwa, Goodwell, the whole rest of the band and especially Prudence.
Williams: And Prudence who is here. Who is back there. Prudence is here tonight. This is for Prudence.
For her part, Prudence seemed perfectly serene and happy about the win.
Salon.com interviewed the battling producers, and got hold of Burkett first (big surprise there), who told them: "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."
In his separate interview, Williams said: "My mother got up to hug me. And my mother is 87 years old. She was excited."
Of the incident, Williams added, "She pulled a Kanye. And it's a shame, because this is such positive, happy film."