Author — and reliable progressive critic of President Donald Trump — Stephen King made waves with the leftist online outrage mob Tuesday when he suggested that the Oscars honored “quality,” and that Oscar voters didn’t need to be concerned about “diversity.”
The Oscar nominations, released Monday, made their own waves in among leftists who complained that no women were nominated for Best Director (even though Greta Gerwig’s “Little Women” received a Best Picture nod) and that few people of color were nominated overall. The Academy Awards, they said, lacked “diversity,” and “#OscarsSoWhite,” a hashtag from several years ago, began trending again as social justice warriors grappled with knowing that the progressive elite Oscar voters had once again failed to honor women and minorities.
King revealed on Twitter that he is an Oscar voter, having penned several adaptations of his own novels for the silver screen. Feeling a need to explain the thought process behind the Academy Awards voting process, King said that the “diversity issue” “did not come up,” and that he, like others, made their choices based on “quality.”
“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,” King wrote.
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…
— Stephen King (@StephenKing) January 14, 2020
“That said, I would never consider diversity in matters of art. Only quality. It seems to me that to do otherwise would be wrong,” King continued.
King’s point is that the Oscars rewards films that are outstanding among the Oscar competitors and rewards directors, writers, and others, for achievements in their field, not simply because they fit a quota — but that is, of course, not how his fellow progressives feel about the issue.
King’s straight talk was met with a wave of anguish.
“With the utmost respect, I think this is quite a bit unfair. When films created by people of color, irrespective of quality, constantly get overlooked by institutions that are predominately comprised of white men, there is an implicit bias at work here,” one activist reminded King, quite condescendingly.
Others simply de-personed King for being among the oppressors.
“Sir, respectfully saying you as a white man can’t really say that. You had more advantages and opportunities than a person of color would have. They have been wrongfully held back in so many ways just because of their color skin,” claimed progressive podcaster, David Weissman.
Still others just simply called King what he now is, in their eyes: problematic.
“That is like saying ‘I don’t see color’ and as problematic,” said one of King’s Twitter followers.
The avalanche of ire must be unusual for King who, as an outspoken Twitter progressive, is often among those calling out the un-woke, including — and perhaps most often — President Donald Trump. He has yet to apologize for falling short of the progressive standard, but he did reply to some of his critics acknowledging the importance of honoring minorities and women in the film industry.
“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,” King said. “Right now such people are badly under-represented, and not only in the arts.”
But he won’t be changing his Oscar vote.