Stephen King under fire for endorsing Oscar's lack of diversity

This year's nominees exclude both women and people of colour

Entertainment Desk January 16, 2020

Prolific author Stephen King has been drawing considerable ire from the fraternity for his incriminating comments about the lack of diversity in this year's Oscar nominations, reported The Guardian. 

In a year which had a number of female directors churning out noteworthy films, the Academy failed to acknowledge even one of them in the Best Director category. The exclusion triggered a storm of comments on social media once again, with thousands calling the Academy out.

According to King though, the inadequate representation is not much of a problem as he "would never consider diversity in matters of art," he said. "Only quality. It seems to me that to do otherwise would be wrong.”

The author was allowed to nominate people for Best Picture, Best Adapted Screenplay and Best Original Screenplay, and "the diversity issue — as it applies to individual actors and directors, anyway — did not come up, he claims.

The comments led to a flurry of criticism directed towards King, including from fans. Writer/editor Roxane Gay said how "as a fan, this is painful to read." She went on to add that diversity and quality are not separate. "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," said Gay.

Director Ava DuVernay also expressed her disappointment at King's comments. "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," she tweeted.

King went on to attempt to clarify his statement saying how he believes that people should be given a fair shot. "You can’t win awards if you’re shut out of the game," he said.

A spokeswoman from King’s publisher reportedly said that no further comment from the author could be expected.

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