Stephen King, in the matter of writing horror, is a modern day artist. His written novels have inspired lauded films including IT and even television in the form of The Outsider. His name alone precedes him but following a series of controversial tweets regarding the #OscarsSoWhite conversation, the Twitter sphere is fuming. Controversy ignited this week as the Academy Awards nominations were released with many categories honouring just straight, white males, despite diversity reforms by the Academy in recent years. Many celebrities and public were disgruntled as women were shunned from the Best Director category and many of the Best Picture films lacked diverse casts.
King was part of the Academy that decided on nominees and revealed on Twitter, “As a writer, I am allowed to nominate in just 3 categories: Best Picture, Best Adapted Screenplay, and Best Original Screenplay,” he explained. “For me, the diversity issue—as it applies to individual actors and directors, anyway—did not come up.”
“I would never consider diversity in matters of art. Only quality,” the 72-year-old tweeted on Tuesday. “It seems to me that to do otherwise would be wrong.”
…I would never consider diversity in matters of art. Only quality. It seems to me that to do otherwise would be wrong.
— Stephen King (@StephenKing) January 14, 2020
His comments were quickly shamed, most notably by When They See Us director Ava DuVernay replying with, “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.”
Author Roxane Gay of Bad Feminist also wrote, “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.”
Is Stephen King cancelled? According to comedian Tim Young, he could be.
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.
— Tim Young (@TimRunsHisMouth) January 14, 2020
The annual Academy Awards ceremony will take place on February 10 from 12pm AEDT.