Stephen King is clarifying his Academy Award diversity comments and doubling down. The iconic horror author went on to say that the Oscars are still rigged in favor of white people. The Academy has once again been criticized for a lack of diversity with this year's nominations, which movie fans have been up in arms about. However, King, while trying to share his opinion on the lack of diversity, found himself swept up in the controversy. Director Ana DuVernay called the author's original tweets "backward and ignorant," which was just the tip of the iceberg.
Stephen King still doesn't feel the need to consider diversity in assessing the quality of art. In a new opinion piece, King went on to explain why he feels this way. "Discussions of arts and culture, like discussions of politics, have become increasingly acrimonious and polarized in recent years," says the author. He went on to say, "Lines of belief are drawn with indelible ink," and that if you happen to cross one of those lines, you are torn up on social media for doing so, notes King.
When talking about the 2020 Academy Awards nominations, Stephen King states, "that those judging creative excellence should be blind to questions of race, gender or sexual orientation," though he went on to note that definitely is not the case today. King went on to breakdown the Academy voters by race, gender, and age, noting that things are slightly getting better, but it's still going too slow and it's still mostly older white men. The author had this to say about diversity in the arts.
"The response reflects my overall attitude that, as with justice, judgments of creative excellence should be blind. But that would be the case in a perfect world, one where the game isn't rigged in favor of the white folks. Creative excellence comes from every walk, color, creed, gender and sexual orientation, and it's made richer and bolder and more exciting by diversity, but it's defined by being excellent.
Judging anyone's work by any other standard is insulting and - worse - it undermines those hard-won moments when excellence from a diverse source is rewarded (against, it seems, all the odds) by leaving such recognition vulnerable to being dismissed as politically correct."
As for where he fits into the argument, Stephen King admits that he is "white, male, and rich." With that being said, he went on to detail the times where he has championed women and diversity in his stories. Carrie and Lisey's Story are brought up, as is The Dark Tower, where Idris Elba was cast as the lead. When casting Elba in the role, King declared that he didn't care "what the character's skin color was as long as he could draw fast and shoot straight."
Stephen King, who was recently turned into a Funko Pop! action figure, brings up some interesting opinions about the lack of diversity in the entertainment industry. The same people who had trouble with his original posts on social media will more than likely feel the same way, even though he seems to sum up his thoughts pretty well. Kings says, "We don't live in that perfect world, and this year's less-than-diverse Academy Awards nominations once more prove it. Maybe someday we will. I can dream, can't I? After all, I make stuff up for a living." Stephen King's words were originally printed by the Washington Post.
...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
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...— Stephen King (@StephenKing) January 14, 2020
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.— Stephen King (@StephenKing) January 14, 2020
You can't win awards if you're shut out of the game.— Stephen King (@StephenKing) January 14, 2020