Stephen King ignites online firestorm for saying ‘quality’ should matter over ‘diversity’ in Oscar noms


BANGOR, Maine (WTVO) — Author Stephen King ignited a firestorm on Tuesday for a series of tweets stressing the “quality” of art should matter over “diversity.”

After the Oscar nominations were announced on Monday, the Academy received criticism for the lack of female nominees for Best Director and few people of color in other categories.

“As a writer, I am allowed to nominate in just 3 categories: Best Picture, Best Adapted Screenplay, and Best Original Screenplay. For me, the diversity issue — as it applies to individual actors and directors, anyway — did not come up. That said… I would never consider diversity in matters of art. Only quality. It seems to me that to do otherwise would be wrong,” King wrote.

Immediately, his tweets came under criticism.

“When you wake up, meditate, stretch, reach for your phone to check on the world and see a tweet from someone you admire that is so backward and ignorant you want to go back to bed,” wrote “Selma” and “A Wrinkle in Time” director Ava DuVernay.

Author Roxanne Gay joined in:  “As a fan, this is painful to read from you. It implies that diversity and quality cannot be synonymous. They are not separate things. Quality is everywhere but most industries only believe in quality from one demographic. And now, here you are.”

And comedian Tim Young said “Uh oh . . . Stephen King is against affirmative action??? I hope he’s ready to be canceled by all the people that LOVE him when he hates on Trump,”

King tried to clarify his comments a few hours later: “The most important thing we can do as artists and creative people is make sure everyone has the same fair shot, regardless of sex, color, or orientation. Right now such people are badly under-represented, and not only in the arts.”

He followed it up with: “You can’t win awards if you’re shut out of the game.”

What do you think?


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