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Watch: '12 Years A Slave' Director Steve McQueen Stays Classy When Asked About Armond White's Comments

Photo of Kevin Jagernauth By Kevin Jagernauth | The Playlist January 18, 2014 at 9:18AM

Whether or not he heard them on the actual night is still not known, but by now someone has told director Steve McQueen about Armond White's insults at the New York Film Critics Circle awards. The contrarian critic shouted, "You're an embarrassing doorman and garbage man” as McQueen went up to accept his Best Director award. The incident made headlines everywhere, and White was kicked out of the NYFCC as a result. As for McQueen, he's pretty much remained silent on it all, but it was only a matter of time before someone was going to ask.
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12 Years A Slave

Whether or not he heard them on the actual night is still not known, but by now someone has told director Steve McQueen about Armond White's insults at the New York Film Critics Circle awards. The contrarian critic shouted, "You're an embarrassing doorman and garbage man” as McQueen went up to accept his Best Director award. The incident made headlines everywhere, and White was kicked out of the NYFCC as a result. As for McQueen, he's pretty much remained silent on it all, but it was only a matter of time before someone was going to ask.

Somewhat randomly/oddly, it was during an appearance on "The Arsenio Hall Show" that McQueen was pointedly asked about White's insults (though the critic's name was kept out it). And McQueen's response? Well, he kept it classy. He mostly sidesteps it, instead explaining why he was able to make the kind of bracing movie about slavery that hasn't been made ... well, ever. Nicely played. And certainly, with nine Oscar nominations on the table, you want to keep the narrative about the movie, not on what some attention-seeking writer said.

Watch McQueen on "The Arsenio Hall Show" below, along with a new featurette and Academy Awards TV spot.

This article is related to: 12 Years a Slave, Steve McQueen


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