The 7 Most Uncomfortable Aspects Of Roger Ross Williams' Oscar Speech Do-Over


The most awkward moment from Sunday night's Oscar telecast was the acceptance speech hijacking from one Music by Prudence key player, Roger Ross Williams, to another, Elinor Burkett, or as Jon Stewart ID-ed her, "the woman who runs the snack counter at my synagogue's Purim festival." But there is only one person in Hollywood who could present Roger Ross Williams with the opportunity to re-do his speech on live television and then, miraculously, make the moment only more awkward. And that person is Larry King.

After the jump, Movieline breaks the awkwardness down into seven cringe-worthy components.

1. Larry King Partially Role-Playing the Ingenue

At some point before the show, a producer and Larry King discussed how the speech do-over would transpire and Movieline imagines that it went something like this...

PRODUCER: So you'll introduce Williams and tell him to go ahead and deliver the acceptance speech he didn't get to on Sunday.

KING: No, I'm going to announce that he won.

PRODUCER: You mean, you want to announce the category like Carey Mulligan did?

KING: Right, right. I'll be Carey. Just give me her lines.

PRODUCER: So you're going to announce all of the other nominees?

KING: No, just his film.

PRODUCER: I'm not following. You want to role-play?

KING: Whatever. I'll wing it.

2. Lack of Follow Through on Role-Playing

If you've already emotionally scarred audience members by introducing a Larry King-as-Carey Mulligan role-playing game, why not go the extra mile and give Larry an envelope to open as he calls out the winning title of the Best Documentary Short category. A podium? Anything that could be faked as a podium? How about a music cue? Why not intercut some reaction shots from the actual Kodak Theater audience?

3. Williams Feigning Shock at Oscar Win 24 Hours After Actually Winning Oscar

OK, so you want to deliver your entire Oscar speech as written, but couldn't you have at least removed that first part ("Oh my god. Oh my god. I can't believe this is happening.") to prevent audiences at home from cringing uncontrollably in response to the moment's lack of authenticity.

4. Speech Written-Down

Williams, man, you've had 24 bonus hours to memorize your acceptance speech you're still going to violate the cardinal rule of award-acceptance by pulling out a wrinkled piece of paper? Especially if this mock-acceptance is occurring during a cable news show?

5. Unexplained Speech Interruption

At 1:46, apparently a cameraman cut off the airtime that King had only minutes before personally guaranteed would go "uninterrupted." Watch as Williams stands slack-jawed for another 10 seconds at the live humiliation redux.

6. Larry King Misuses Pop Culture Lingo to Make Already Awkward Situation More Awkward

After Williams stood dumbfounded for ten seconds and began that slow walk back to Larry's desk, Larry shouted "I wasn't cutting you off, Kanye!" at his interruptee. Larry, acceptable usages of the VMA reference would have included, "Imma let you finish Taylor" or "Imma let you finish Williams" or even, "I wasn't cutting you off Taylor!" But at least your reference was somewhere in the realm of being correct.

7. Roger Ross Williams Actually Already Had a Second Chance to Give His Oscar Speech


  • James says:

    Totally agree with everything you wrote up there.

  • Strepsi says:

    I believe that the Oscar stauettes should be re-engraved as going to "Music by Prudence, by two complete asshats."

  • SunnydaZe says:

    Great writing, Ms. Miller. This really made me laugh out loud.

  • NY City Boy says:

    Roger R Williams is one of the most egomaniacal and pompous individuals I've ever had the pleasure of knowing. While working with this guy on Music by Prudence, Elinor Burkett apparently realized it too and wasn't going to let him take control of THEIR MOMENT. Roger's demeanor has always been one centered only on himself and good for your Elinor for showing the world what this guy's all about...

  • Khainna says:

    What nastiness!
    Roger Ross Williams is one of the sweetest guys on the planet. Anyone who can't see that when watching him during his oscar acceptance speech has no heart.
    Here's another adorable little clip showing Roger in the weeks surrounding the oscars:

  • NYC Man says:

    You are so in awe of Mr. Williams that is obvious from your comment. He is so talented and you probably have a dead end job in TV and no chance of ever winning an Oscar. You poor looser! You should get a life and try to get over your pathetic jealously of Roger Ross Williams. I feel sorry for you!