Famed novelist Stephen King has surely learned that the most realistic horrors live inside oneself. The author took to Twitter to share his opinions on the alleged lack of diversity in this year’s Academy Award nominees, explaining that as an Academy member, he only considers the quality of films, not diversity.
King elaborated that as a writer he is only allowed to nominate films in three categories- Best Picture, Best Adapted Screenplay, and Best Original Screenplay- before adding that “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. It seems to me that to do otherwise would be wrong.
— Stephen King (@StephenKing) January 14, 2020
King has faced inevitable backlash for his comments, including a strongly worded quote tweet from Ava DuVernay, a career-long advocate for increased inclusion in filmmaking. The director, citing King’s tweet as reference, added her own commentary on the issue.
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. https://t.co/nPXOeAebkb
— Ava DuVernay (@ava) January 14, 2020
King later returned to Twitter to add some final thoughts, sharing that he believes “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,” before ending on “You can’t win awards if you’re shut out of the game.”
DuVernay has yet to acknowledge King’s later comments, however, the novelist has probably learned to stay silent in future in conversations regarding diversity.