Steve McQueen’s 12 Years a Slave was one of the very best films of 2013, having ranked on our own best-of list in the number four spot. Not everyone was into it, though. Among the dissenting voices was film critic Armond White, and he made that voice heard last night at the New York Film Critics Circle Awards during McQueen’s acceptance speech for Best Director.
White has a long and storied history of controversial opinions on films, and has been referred to by TIME as “The World’s Most Contrarian Film Critic.” Whether he believes the things he says or is merely trolling for attention is anybody’s guess, but his behavior at the New York Film Critics Circle Awards went beyond contrarianism into the realm of just being a huge dick. Among White’s reported interjections during McQueen’s acceptance speech were “You’re an embarrassing doorman and garbage man,” “F–k you,” “Kiss my ass,” and “Pulease!”
That anyone ever took Armond White seriously enough to hire him as a film critic is pretty baffling, but hopefully this latest incident will lead to a full-scale shunning of White by the film critic community. He has made himself a nuisance by heckling people at the New York Film Critics Circle Awards in the past, so maybe this time they could just not let him back? That seems like a reasonable solution to the Armond White problem. He is a dues-paying member of the organization, though, and his review of 12 Years a Slave appeared on their website, so maybe that won’t happen.
In the aforementioned review, White states, “12 Years a Slave belongs to the torture porn genre with Hostel, The Human Centipede and the Saw franchise.” So, you know, troll status confirmed. I’m not going to link to that review, because screw that guy, but you can read a much better review of the film by our own Matt Donato here.