Stephen King’s Remarks About The Lack Of Diversity In This Year’s Oscar Nominees Aren’t Going Over Well

This year’s Oscar nods were even more dominated by while male nominees than usual. Many notable snubs occurred, including the omission of Parasite and Us actors. Eddie Murphy (who very publicly called out the Academy in 1988 for this same reason) was not recognized for his best movie in years, Dolemite Is My Name, and no female helmers surfaced on the Best Directors list. It’s not something that can be glossed over at this point, although that’s what Oscar voter Stephen King appears to be doing on Twitter.

Not coincidentally, King’s The Outsider novel is currently being adapted by HBO and stars Cynthia Erivo, who has spoken out on how “it’s not enough” to be the sole actor color nominated by the Academy (for Harriet) this year. King, however, fired off a tweet thread this morning that is drawing the most focus for the following entry.

“…I would never consider diversity in matters of art,” the horror author wrote. “Only quality. It seems to me that to do otherwise would be wrong.”

This statement followed King’s first tweet, in which he explained that, of the three categories in which he’s allowed to nominate, “the diversity issue … did not come up.”

He added a few more thoughts on the subject, which could be interpreted in a few ways, depending on one’s perspective: (1) A slight backtrack with the final entry conceding that any “shut out” won’t be productive to any game’s player; or (2) A double down (as with this next tweet) that makes an argument about how “such people are badly under-represented,” and he appears to be referring to artists as a whole as the underdog. This kind-of makes no sense (since artists are recognizing artists), but King appears to be sticking with his point: he wants to “make sure everyone gets the same fair shot,” and “sex, color, or orientation” shouldn’t even enter an Academy member’s thought process.

Let’s just say that The Shining author’s tweets aren’t landing like he’d like them to land. Selma and When They See Us director Ava DuVernay lamented what she called “backward and ignorant” remarks from King. She was joined by others who argued against the meritocracy mindset that’s been established and maintained by a predominantly white-male membership, who might not even be aware of their own bias.

One can’t expect this issue to die down anytime soon, not even after this year’s Oscars ceremony broadcasts on Sunday, February 9 on ABC.