Despite the length of the Oscars – which, yes, is what she said – I found a few moments to be highly entertaining. I won’t rehash them because, well, I already recapped that show on Monday. However, the one thing that was noticeable even to Stevie Wonder was the palpable and very real rift between 12 Years A Slave director Steve McQueen and screenwriter, John Ridley. We talked about it here in the comments section as well, because, duh.
But for those that either don’t know, don’t show, or just don’t care about what happens in the hood, here’s the skinny (said Rick Ross on Fat Tuesday): Allegedly, Steve McQueen said “writing credit or nah” on the screenplay for 12 Years. John Ridley, said, “I can’t go for that, no can do.” Allegedly somebody said something about somebody’s wife and Brad Pitt had to be called into mediate, with both men ultimately putting their beef on the backburner in order to complete the now Best Picture award winning movie.
Let me say this, do you know what kind of foresight and tunnel vision you have to maintain in order to put aside a beef over credit for something you both (and everybody involved) realizes is going to be something special? I don’t know what was said in those meetings, but they need to provide that at all child support and custody hearings, pronto. I mean, this is Hollywood, egos are at a premium and they managed to get kinda-sorta passed it for the greater good so much so that nearly nobody outside of Hollywood was aware of a rift until Oscar night?
Back to the lecture at hand. So let’s assume that all of the reports are true: this really is all over a writing credit.
You know what, I get it. (As an aside that’s caught up in the beginning of a paragraph, I kind of assumed that most directors and screenwriters worked together pretty closely which tends to lend some credence McQueen’s issue, but what do I know, I’m just sexxy. Screenwriter/industry friends feel free to chime in). When you create something…
…no better time to do this than here, this entire post was derived from a convo that Champ and I had earlier about giving credit since we’re two people who live in a world where all you have is your balls (or uterus?) and your word, see? Credit.
When you create something, anything, you do it with the idea that hopefully it matters in some capacity. How much it matters is left to the hopes and dreams of the creator, but all of us that do create aren’t just doing it for the f*ck of it. We have plans. We have flowers. What that means is even if its just a tweet that goes viral, you want the credit for it coming from you because your word is your bond. Besides, above all else..it’s yours. It was your words. It was your idea. It was your vision. It was yours. Drake even said it over and over again on “Wu Tang Forever” “it’s yours…” by reinterpolating the Wu. Even amidst his recreation he was saying, “it’s yours”. Do you see what I did there?? Amazing. See? Everybody’s doing it.
Point is, if I said it (I meant it, bite my tongue for no one) and I did it, I want my credit. Just like anybody else would. So if I come to you and say, “hey homey…how’s about adding my name to that piece of paper right there to indicate that I contributed to this here lil project…” and the other person is like, “No, when I turn this in I will NOT put your name on it. FIGHT ME!” weeeez gon’ have a situation on our hands. And its human to feel some kind of way about it. It might not even seem like that big a deal to outsiders. I mean, its just a name on a piece of paper. But that piece of paper is just the culmination of your work and your blood, sweat, and tears. So the omission is basically saying, loudly, that you can’t sit with us, it’s against the rules.
Now, what usually happens is people swoop in and say something along the lines of, “they can’t take away what you contributed, whether you get the credit or not.” And that’s actually not true at all. When it comes to business that goodwill sh*t means absolutely nothing. Plus there’s no reward for being the bigger person and just sucking up some sh*t you know to be true.
Now, remember in this case, McQueen brought the book and idea to Ridley in the first place. Which would be kind of like Puffy wanting credit for producing every song he’s ever been listed on if it all ended there. Except you know what? He IS listed as a producer on nearly every song he’s ever touched. McQueen? No such luck and its likely he did more than Puffy has ever done.
Again, I don’t know how true it all is. Or at least how accurate it is. And there’s also the part about McQueen saying some unkind words about Ridley’s wife. Or something. Real talk, that part actually makes it seem believable to me. These chaps have managed to keep this under wraps through the awards season but a real, sensational snub on both of their parts makes it seem personal. Like they legit don’t f*ck with one another.
At the end of the day, if it does all come down to a writing credit, I get it. It makes sense. For a rift to continue for that long just means that they refuse to meet in the middle. Or maybe there is no meeting in the middle because ain’t nothing worse than two stubborn creatives who feel like they are owed credit for work they’ve done.
See: The beef between all Internet famous people who have done work together who no longer rock with one another. And it’s a legit. Credit matters. And the perceived lack of it (however real it may or may not be, because its not always legit) is enough to cause two grown men who created something so epic together to snub one another on purpose on Hollywood’s biggest night.
Word up. Credit. Dictionary.
Anyway this isn’t legit? Or do we all understand it
-VSB P aka THE ARSONIST aka TANGLE JIG P aka GIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIRL HE A 3