Alejandro González Iñárritu has hit back at criticism for appearing not to clap Jenny Beavan, as she made her way to the stage to accept her award for Best Costume Design for Mad Max: Fury Road.
Mad Max: Fury Road outpaced its competitors at Sunday's awards to scoop up a total of six Oscars, the highest number of the night; Iñárritu's The Revenant landing a comparative three gongs, including Best Director.
However, a widely-circulated Vine led swathes of the internet to suggest Iñárritu may not have been so pleased with Mad Max's victories; with a three-second clip interpreted by some as showing the director refusing to clap for Beavan and regarding her with disdain.
When reached for comment by The Guardian, Iñárritu labelled the accusations "mean-spirited and false". He responded, "I think Jenny Beavan is a masterful costume designer and very deserving of the Oscar for Mad Max: Fury Road.
"By editing and omitting the full reality and suggesting I felt anything but admiration is mean-spirited and false. What you don’t see in the 10-second clip being circulated is my applause for Jenny as she ascended the stairs to the stage."
However, the director went even one better in attempting to clear his name: he sent the publication a GIF. Taken from beyond what the Vine shows, it sees him clapping for Beavan as she makes her way up the steps to the Oscar stage.
No word yet on whether the dual-Oscar winning Iñárritu made the GIF himself, but he did conclude with one final defence: "I’ve learned a lot this awards season... that I should never cross my arms when I am sitting down."
Beavan herself reacted to the controversy; "[H]onestly, I didn’t clap the whole time [during the ceremony] — your hands get tired. We had done a huge amount of clapping by that time," she told The Hollywood Reporter.
"They didn't have to! I don’t mind in the least if they didn't clap. I felt really good, I felt the warmth, I was so proud of doing the film for George and it didn’t matter what anyone else thought, really."
Perhaps it's a lesson that context is always key; the Academy Awards are always roughly one century in length, with the award for Best Costume Design barely forming a dent in the night's proceedings.
Sure, judge them for laziness; but with the technical nominees largely stuffed way back in the theatre, it's an arduously long walk to the stage for winners and it's fairly usual for pauses in the applause as attendees attempt to conserve energy.