Monday, July 4, 2022

Ava DuVernay Slams Stephen King’s ‘Backward and Ignorant’ Comments on #OscarsSoWhite

Stephen King
Stephen King

*Stephen King is catching some heat for a tweet in response to #OscarsSoWhite2020.

After the list of nominees was announced Monday morning, King joined the online discussion about the lack of diversity, with Cynthia Erivo listed named as the only person of color in the acting categories.

King, an Academy member, explained how he votes on the nominees.

“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…” King wrote. In a follow-up tweet he added, 

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

Peep the tweets below. 

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The comments didn’t sit well with many of King’s fans, including director Ava DuVernay, who called the acclaimed author’s statement “backward and ignorant” — see below. 

King later noted that artists supporting artists is the “most important task” of artists.

As reported by PEOPLE, author Roxane Gay also responded to King’s tweet, writing “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,” she replied.

Author, N. K. Jemisin, also objected to King’s opinion.

Damn, Stephen. Damn. I thought you were better than this. It should be obvious that diversity and quality *aren’t separate qualities,* or in opposition to each other — except in the minds of bigots. Damn,” he wrote.

When King caught wind of DuVernay’s comments, he responded by saying he loved her Netflix miniseries “When They See Us.”

DuVernay made clear that this is not the same conversation.

The 92nd Annual Academy Awards will air live from the Dolby Theatre in Hollywood on Feb. 9 at 8 p.m. ET on ABC.

Ny MaGee
Ny MaGee is an entertainment reporter with over 15 years of experience working in the film industry in areas including production and post-production, marketing, distribution, and acquisitions. She has worked for legendary film producer Roger Corman, Quentin Tarantino's production team at Miramax, the late Larry Flynt, MTV/ VH1, Hallmark Channel, Paramount, Jim Henson Co., Parade Magazine, and various LA-based companies representing above-the-line talent.

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