Oscars: Left Torches Stephen King for Saying Quality Matters in the Arts, Not Diversity

NEW YORK - FEBRUARY 09: Author Stephen King reads from his new novella "Ur", exclusively available on the Kindle, at an unveiling event for the Amazon Kindle 2 at the Morgan Library & Museum February 9, 2009 in New York City. The updated electronic reading device is slimmer with new …
Mario Tama/Getty Images

Author and Trump hater Stephen King is feeling the heat from fellow liberals following his tweets about the Academy Award nominations, in which he said that quality is more important than diversity when it comes to creating works of art.

Filmmaker Ava DuVernay hit back at King, calling his comments “backward and ignorant.” Author Laura Lippman also called out King, saying that the Hollywood system is “rigged.”

Roxane Gay, the author and contributing opinion writer at The New York Times, expressed her disappointment in King, saying that “most industries only believe in quality from one demographic.”

King has become a darling among left-wing Hollywood types and the cultural elite for his vehement anti-Trump stance. The author of The Shining and Misery has repeatedly insulted President Donald Trump  and his supporters on social media, calling him a “horse’s ass” and a “vile, racist, and incompetent bag of guts.

Stephen King posted his diversity comments in reaction to mainstream media outrage over the Oscar nominations on Monday.

Hollywood journalists turned their knives on the the Academy for what they saw as a lack of diversity among this year’s acting categories. Harriet actress Cynthia Erivo was the only non-white acting nominee this year, prompting journalists to resurrect the #OscarsSoWhite hashtag.

The absence of female nominees in the directing category also irked industry reporters, who had been rooting for Greta Gerwig to land a nomination for Little Women. While Gerwig was shut out of the directing category, Little Women earned multiple nominations including nods for best picture as well as Gerwig’s adapted screenplay.

The It writer-producer reacted to the avalanche of negative press coverage with a series of tweets in which he said that diversity shouldn’t be a consideration when making art.

“I would never consider diversity in matters of art. Only quality. It seems to me that to do otherwise would be wrong,” he wrote.

The author noted that as a member of the Academy’s writers branch, he is allowed to nominate in only three categories: adapted screenplay, original screenplay, and best picture.

“For me, the diversity issue–as it applies to individual actors and directors, anyway–did not come up,” he tweeted.

His comments have nonetheless provoked a strong negative reaction from the left.

Ava DuVernay responded Tuesday by calling King’s “backward and ignorant.”

Writer Roxane Gay wrote that King’s comments were “painful to read” because she is a fan of his novels.

Author Laura Lippman tweeted back that “a meritocracy could work only if the game weren’t rigged.”

Following the backlash, King seemed to qualify his earlier comments, saying in a series of follow-up tweets that the creative community needs to ensure that “everyone has the same fair shot, regardless of sex, color, or orientation.”

He added: “You can’t win awards if you’re shut out of the game.”

DuVernay didn’t appear to accept King’s attempt to qualify his diversity comments.

Follow David Ng on Twitter @HeyItsDavidNg. Have a tip? Contact me at dng@breitbart.com

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