Weeks after leftists subjected him to a public flogging for daring to say that “quality” should always trump diversity in art, author Stephen King is now pitching incense to the woke gods as a way to seemingly ingratiate himself to them.
In an op-ed for The Washington Post on Monday, the renowned author scolded the recent Academy Award nominations for their lack of racial and sexual diversity, arguing that the whole business is “rigged in favor of the white folks.”
Starting out, King addressed the controversy that landed him in hot water earlier this month, in which he tweeted, “I would never consider diversity in matters of art. Only quality. It seems to me that to do otherwise would be wrong.”
The hits at King were relentless, as accusations of “white privilege” and “white-washing” erupted across his Twitter page. In the op-ed, the “It” author clarified he never meant to say that people in charge of creative content live by the creed of quality over diversity, insisting that he believes they have rigged the game in the white man’s favor.
“I also said, in essence, that those judging creative excellence should be blind to questions of race, gender or sexual orientation. I did not say that was the case today, because nothing could be further from the truth,” King wrote on Monday, as reported by The Hill.
“Has there been progress in the film community? Yes, some,” he continued. “I’m old enough to remember when there were only a handful of African-American directors and about the only female director in Hollywood was Ida Lupino, who made hard-edged noir B-pictures in the 1950s and later worked in television. Her directing work was never nominated for an Oscar or an Emmy.”
King blames the lack of diversity among those nominated on the diversity of the Academy’s voting members, noting they are only 32% women and 16% minorities. “Not good enough. Not even within shouting distance of good enough,” King wrote.
But just last week, an anonymous Oscar voter told The Daily Beast that the diversity issues among those nominated were overblown, when considering the reforms that the Academy instituted following the so-called “#OscarsSoWhite” controversy of 2016.
“When the #OscarsSoWhite backlash happened, we were all thrown under the bus by our own Academy for seemingly being biased,” the voter told the outlet. “So they added a lot more members, making sure it was diverse. But what also came out of that was an extra fringe benefit of youth. Suddenly an entire group of voters was plugged into social media in a way the older voters were not.”
“So now comes this year, where the grumblings are happening again, but this time it’s harder to throw the Academy members under the bus because we are more diverse now,” the voter continued. “I think it points to what the other issue was that got buried under the controversy, and that is the need to develop more projects that are richer in roles for actors of color and even stronger directing opportunities for women.”
King closed out his Post op-ed by reflecting upon how a perfect world would be completely color-blind, before lamenting on how that perfect world has been supplanted by a system “rigged in favor of the white folks.”
“My overall attitude that, as with justice, judgments of creative excellence should be blind,” King wrote. “But that would be the case in a perfect world, one where the game isn’t rigged in favor of the white folks. Creative excellence comes from every walk, color, creed, gender and sexual orientation, and it’s made richer and bolder and more exciting by diversity, but it’s defined by being excellent. Judging anyone’s work by any other standard is insulting and — worse — it undermines those hard-won moments when excellence from a diverse source is rewarded (against, it seems, all the odds) by leaving such recognition vulnerable to being dismissed as politically correct.”