February 14, 2014 5:30pm PT by Scott Feinberg
'12 Years a Slave' Director Steve McQueen Meets With U.S. Ambassador to United Nations (Exclusive)
On Thursday night, 12 Years a Slave's Oscar-nominated director-producer Steve McQueen met with the U.S. ambassador to the United Nations, The Hollywood Reporter has learned.
The 44-year-old Brit shared the corner booth at New York's The Monkey Bar with Samantha Power, one of President Barack Obama's closest advisors. The exclusive party also included Powers' husband, Cass Sunstein, a legal scholar and professor at Harvard, and Cosmopolitan editor Joanne Coles and her husband, Peter Godwin.
THR is told McQueen initiated the meeting because he was aware of Power's key role in the fight to end modern-day slavery around the world, which he also formally joined last week when he became a patron of Anti-Slavery International, the oldest human rights organization.
McQueen, reached for comment by THR, said, "It was an honor to meet Ambassador Power. Her focus on human rights today speaks to the message and legacy Solomon Northup left with his novel."
The director met with the ambassador after taping a segment on MSNBC's The Last Word With Lawrence O'Donnell and before heading to New York's JFK International Airport for his flight to London for Sunday night's BAFTA Awards.
Last week, on Feb. 3, McQueen screened 12 Years a Slave before the British Parliament at the invitation of ParliREACH, "a workplace equality network for increasing awareness and appreciation of race, ethnicity and cultural heritage issues in Parliament" that is composed of people from "the Parliamentary Estate, including Members’ staff from both Houses." The Speaker of the House of Commons, the Rt. Hon. John Bercow, said afterward, "Steve McQueen is an inspiration to us all. I am honored to welcome him to the Houses of Parliament and wish him every success at the Oscars."