A lot of heat has been coming down on sound-mixer Michael Minkle for dissing sound-mixer Kevin O’Connell who’s been Oscar-nominated and lost 19 times, last Sunday night during an Oscar press conference. “I think Kevin should go away with 19 nominations,” he said. “Kevin is an okay mixer, but he should take up another line of work.”

A lot of industry people have voiced anger at Minkle for these words. Editor Walter Murch allegedly sent out an e-mail yesterday condemning Minkle for his words, and now Minke himself has sent out an e-mailed apology (which was sent to be by a big-city reporter who wants anonymity):

“Gentlemen, Friends, and Colleagues,

“A very unfortunate situation has developed because of my stupid answers to some inappropriate questions. I did not seek this spotlight√É‚Äö√Ǭ≠ — the press did, as they have in the past. It was wrong of them to ask the questions, and wrong, wrong, wrong of me to answer them the way that I did.

“I apologize to all of you for creating a messy situation, and exposing the appearance of any dissention among our ranks.

“The press has been asking me questions about Kevin since 2002. They continue to hound me with the same questions again and again, and this time I lost control, using bad choices of words and bitter sarcasm. The award should be about the work—period.

“It is always my concern to preserve the Oscars’ significance to the filmmaking community and its international audience. My thoughts got away from me at an emotional time, and that I regret.

“My response to the last question was off-the-cuff sarcasm meant as humor. However it seems that it has caused even greater reaction…shock. I wanted to end the questioning and those words came out. Not funny. I am very sorry. The time and place was wrong for any of it.

“Adding sentiment to this unfortunate situation has of course been the sorrowful passing of Skippy O’Connell.” (He means Kevin O’Connell’s mom, who died last Sunday night.) ” My sincere condolences go out to the entire O’Connell family.

“I have been in communication with Kevin directly, and I wish the best for him in the future. I am sure that he will receive his due recognition on that same stage very soon, and I will be the first to congratulate him.

“In my career, I’m sure that I have accidentally hurt people, but I’ve never intentionally sought to do harm. I ask forgiveness from them. I have given shots and taken some, but I don’t believe that at any time, true malice was the objective.

“I appreciate you sharing your personal thoughts with me, as I always have. I now thank you for allowing me to share mine with you.

“Respect to all, Michael Minkler