Stephen King is facing backlash after he weighed in on the lack of diversity among this year's Oscar nominees. After it was announced that only a single person of color was nominated in the major acting categories and no female directors were up for Best Director, King took to social media just a day later to address the movie fans and critics calling the 2020 Academy Awards nominations "biased."
"As a writer, I am allowed to nominate in just 3 categories: Best Picture, Best Adapted Screenplay, and Best Original Screenplay," King began. "For me, the diversity issue--as it applies to individual actors and directors, anyway--did not come up. That said... I would never consider diversity in matters of art. Only quality. It seems to me that to do otherwise would be wrong."
The horror author's comments did not go over well with many, however, including Ava DuVernay.
"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 wrote.
"If a largely male, largely white group selects a largely male, largely white sample as 'quality,' year after year for decades — it suggests there's not an objective definition of that 'quality,'" replied one person. "Something else has to be at play."
"But there should be diversity in writing as well," wrote a third. "The problem is that POC and women can't even get in the room to talk about their script being turned into a movie as they aren't invited to participate as often as white men."
"The diversity issue 'did not come up'?" added another. "So not only did you neglect to consider POC as nominees, but you also didn't think it was necessary to engage in discourse about that clear lack of diversity?"0comments
Several hours after sparking backlash, King again took to the social media platform, writing that "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. You can't win awards if you're shut out of the game."
The 92nd Academy Awards will be held on Sunday, Feb. 9 at the Dolby Theatre and will be broadcast live on ABC.