Contrarian film critic Armond White, raked over the coals last week for allegedly heckling Steve McQueen during the New York Film Critics Circle’s annual awards ceremony, has been expelled from the group, according to several media reports.
The group also suspended New York Post chief film critic Lou Lumenick for one year for tweeting voting results and runners-up from their voting process — something the Los Angeles Film Critics do as a matter of course, but the NYFCC keeps close to the vest.
White, a writer for CityArts who is best known for hating what other critics love and loving what they hate, got into hot water after last Monday night’s awards ceremony in New York, where he reportedly shouted at McQueen as he accepted his best-director award for “12 Years a Slave.”
A Variety reporter seated near White reported that the critic yelled, “You’re an embarrassing doorman and garbage man! F– you! Kiss my ass.” White had ripped the film in his review, comparing it to “torture-porn” films like “Hostel” and “The Human Centipede.”
The NYFCC later apologized to Fox Searchlight and McQueen over the outburst, and vowed it would be “taking disciplinary action.”
White later blasted “the misreporting and the repetition of lies,” but declined to answer when asked whether he’d yelled at McQueen. “It was talk among my tablemates,” he said. “The Variety and Wire lines are outright misquotes and lies. You might want to ask why the gutter bloggers continue to misquote and distort the event and NYFCC history.”
White had been a disruptive presence at NYFCC’s awards ceremonies before: He reportedly yelled “f– you!” at presenter Michael Moore the year before, and was hostile toward winners when he hosted in 2011 — when he was NYFCC chair, a position he’d held three times.
Longtime Entertainment Weekly film critic and NYFCC member Owen Glieberman wrote at length about the vote to oust White, and what precipitated it.
“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 City Arts), from the group,” he wrote. “To me, it was a sad moment — pathetic, really, though Armond brought it on himself.”