Stephen King receives backlash for comment on lack of diversity in Oscar nominations

WION Web Team New Delhi, Delhi, India Jan 15, 2020, 02.02 PM(IST)

File photo of Stephen King Photograph:( AFP )

Story highlights

Stephen King was trolled for saying, "I would never consider diversity in matters of art. Only quality. It seems to me that to do otherwise would be wrong.”

With the Oscars ceremony just around the corner, a lot is being discussed about diversity at the Academy Awards considering that the coveted awards show tries every year to be inclusive. When the full Oscars 2020 nominations list was announced on January 13, the same issue crept up with people also pointing out that no woman filmmaker has been nominated in the Best Director category.

In the midst of all this, author Stephen King, who is also an Academy member is being criticised for his remarks on the lack of diversity at the Oscars. Known for writing horror novels and also helping a screen adaptation of them (like in the case of ‘IT’), he took to Twitter to talk about how he selected names in different categories for this year’s Oscars. See the full Oscars 2020 nominations list here.

He tweeted, “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…”

And continued, “...I would never consider diversity in matters of art. Only quality. It seems to me that to do otherwise would be wrong.” Also read: Salma Hayek's 'big butt' would have led to a fashion disaster at Oscars 2003 if not for Renee Zellweger


Soon after his tweets trended on the internet with many users criticising him for his ignorant thought process, Ava DuVernay, director of ‘When They See Us’, whose film ‘Selma’ was snubbed in the Best Director category despite getting a Best Picture nomination in 2015 replied to him saying, “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.” Also read: Also read: Oscars 2020: 'Parasite' makes history as first South Korean film to get Best Picture, Best Foreign Film nod

Oscar nominated film '1917' has been backed by India's Reliance Entertainment


After his tweets invited a lot of backlash, Stephen King then tried to offer an explanation and tweeted, "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."


Oscars 2020: Meet the nominees in the best director category

2020 Oscars: Meet the best actor nominees

2020 Oscars: Meet the best actress nominees