Steve McQueen Heckled at New York Critics Circle Awards

Film critic Armond White denies calling McQueen a "garbage man" and "doorman."

Posted: 01/08/2014 08:45 AM EST
Steve McQueen

Steve McQueen has been the subject of near-universal praise since the first screening of his film 12 Years a Slave, but a journalist at the New York Film Critics Circle awards dinner isn't a fan of the acclaimed director. 

Armond White, an editor for CityArts, shocked the crowd when he started heckling McQueen as he stepped on stage to accept his award from Harry Belafonte. “You’re an embarrassing doorman and garbage man,” White yelled. “F*** you. Kiss my a**.”

McQueen, seemingly unfazed by the remarks, ignored them as he thanked the crowd for his prize. This isn't the first time White, a controversial critic who frequently pans films beloved by other critics (including 12 Years a Slave), has heckled filmmakers. In 2012, he made rude comments to Robert De Niro and Viola Davis as they were accepting awards.

The chairman of the NYFCC, Joshua Rothkopf, reportedly held an emergency meeting on Tuesday to discuss how to handle the situation.

White, for his part, denies ever heckling McQueen. "The comments that I supposedly made were never uttered by me or anyone within my earshot," White tells The Hollywood Reporter. "I have been libeled by publications that recklessly quoted unnamed sources that made up what I said and to whom I was speaking." 

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  (Photo: Cindy Ord/Getty Images)

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