AceShowbiz - Stephen King has apparently clarified his controversial comments on diversity in arts. The prolific author has backtracked on his earlier statements after he became the subject of Internet backlash due to his remarks.
"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," he tweeted on Tuesday, January 14. Acknowledging that people of certain color, sex and orientation are still "under-represented" nowadays, he added, "Right now such people are badly under-represented, and not only in the arts."
This tweet came several hours after "The Dark Tower" novel writer tweeted that he doesn't consider diversity when it comes to voting for the Oscars. "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," so he posted earlier on Tuesday.
"That said...," he continued, "...I would never consider diversity in matters of art. Only quality. It seems to me that to do otherwise would be wrong."
His diversity comments soon sparked criticism from fellow social media users, including some notable public figures like Ava DuVernay who tweeted out her disappointment at the 72-year-old author, "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."
Roxanne Gay, the award-winning author of "Bad Feminist" and "Hunger", weighed in, "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."
"The Real Lolita: The Kidnapping of Sally Horner and the Novel That Scandalized the World" author Sarah Weinman added, " 'Never considering diversity' is, in fact, making a choice to privilege certain works of art over others. WOMEN CRIME WRITERS, a collection I know you have read, would not exist without the specific goal of diversity, in the form of reviving neglected/overlooked writers."
The HFPA has been criticized for the lack of female representation in nominations for the 2020 Academy Awards. This year, female directors are once again snubbed in the Best Director category.