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It looks like the saga is over. According to EW, controversial movie reviewer (and CityArts editor) Armond White was officially expelled from the New York Film Critics Circle today, after allegations that he heckled 12 Years a Slave director Steve McQueen during the New York Film Critics Circle Awards last week. (Specifically, White apparently yelled "F—you. Kiss my ass," when McQueen got on stage to accept an award for 12 Years a Slave.)
The news was revealed by EW film critic Owen Gleiberman, who's apart of the New York Film Critics Circle and was apart of the vote to expel White.
This morning, the members of the New York Film Critics Circle, including me, voted to expel Armond White, the former critic of the now-defunct New York Press (and currently the editor and movie critic of CityArts), from the group. To me, it was a sad moment — pathetic, really, though Armond brought it on himself. A week ago, at the Circle’s annual awards dinner, White made a rude and bellicose spectacle of himself, as he did the year before, by heckling one of the winners — in this case, Steve McQueen, the director of 12 Years a Slave, a movie that White, in his review, had dismissed as “torture porn.”
Gleiberman goes on to explain that White has every right not to like 12 Years a Slave, but that the heckling—which Gleiberman reports that he saw himself—was out of line. (For the record, after the allegations surfaced, White immediately denied them.)
White has the right to believe, and say in print, anything he wants. But disrupting a public event is a squalid form of acting out that has no defense. And that’s why he was kicked out of the New York Film Critics Circle: because of a disturbing, and arguably disturbed, pattern of stubborn misbehavior...What’s bizarre, and distinctive, and revealing about this situation, however, is that Armond obviously feels that he has the right to disrupt a public event. He’s not just a mindless crank tossing dumb insults from the back of the room. He’s a mindful crank who has turned the trumpeting of his opinions about movies into a form of (un)civil disobedience. He believes he’s justified because he thinks he’s the only truth-teller in the room. But that suggests that he’s a critic who’s now getting high on hate, and bringing that impulse out into the open.
White hasn't yet released a statement regarding this development.