Stephen King slammed for 'backward and ignorant' diversity comments

Stephen King's comments about not considering diversity when voting for the Oscars sparked backlash

Cynthia Erivo, the only performer of color to receive an Oscar nomination this week, responded to comments from author and Academy member Stephen King about diversity in Hollywood on Wednesday. "I would never consider diversity in matters of art. Only quality. It seems to me that to do otherwise would be wrong", he tweeted, apparently blissfully ignorant of the avalanche of self-righteous internet outrage that would soon descend upon him.

The writer explained that "only quality" should matter when deciding personal nominations for the annual movie awards.

He has since been criticized by leading Hollywood names and authors saying his argument centers on the idea that quality and diversity are mutually exclusive.

The comments by the best-selling ME author came shortly after the announcement of this year's nominees for the Academy Awards, widely criticized for choosing only male directors and for an nearly entirely white group of acting finalists. "For me, the diversity issue - as it applies to individual actors and directors, anyway - did not come up". Many stated that they respect Stephen King, who is easily one of the most prolific authors of his time, but that they felt his statements were very out of touch.

Author Roxane Gay also joined in, writing, "As a fan, this is painful to read from you".

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"Good to know it's just white men who produce quality in those categories", one Twitter user replied. They are not separate things.

To hit that point home, Brad says something pretty spot-on about the industry as a whole, and then offers a brief list of artists and films HE believes were snubbed. "And now, here you are". The director Ava DuVernay called King's comments "so backward and ignorant you want to go back to bed".

King, a 72-year-old proud progressive who is also an Oscar voter, made the remarks on Twitter.

"I feel like this year we had a flurry of handsome pieces by people who are of a diverse nature - black women, women in general", Erivo said at the Television Critics Association press tour, singling out "Watchmen" star Regina King in particular.

'Hopefully more work gets seen by people who are making really good work, and I feel like this year we had a flurry of handsome pieces by people who are diverse in nature - black women, women in general, ' she said during the Television Critics Assn. press tour panel. "Change the way they think, change the way they cast things, change the way they (hire) their producers, their directors and writers and make sure it reflects the world that we live in".

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