Stephen King embroils himself in 2020 Oscars diversity row

Ava Du Vernay reacted to Stephen King's tweet about diversity

Ava Du Vernay reacted to Stephen King's tweet about diversity

Stephen King, author of such classic works as IT and The Shining, has come under fire for some recent tweets he shared in response to the recent Oscar nominations.

The best-selling author's comments came shortly after the announcement of this year's nominees for the Academy Awards, widely criticized for only choosing male directors and for an nearly entirely white group of acting finalists. Still, some Twitter users accused King of trying to cover up his own prejudice.

But King - who is a member of the Academy and votes in the Best Picture, Best Adapted Screenplay and Best Original Screenplay categories - said he would never factor diversity into the mix when casting his votes.

'For me, the diversity issue-as it applies to individual actors and directors, anyway-did not come up'. That said. I would never consider diversity in matters of art.

"I can't solve how you balance diversity with quality of work", Erivo told the room of reporters via satellite from Tokyo. "If I can create room for others, that's also what I'm going to do", she said.

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"Sir, respectfully saying you as a white man can't really say that. That's how I think we lean into the diversity a bit more". "They have been wrongfully held back in so many ways just due to their color skin", claimed progressive podcaster, David Weissman.

Author Laura Lippman tweeted back that "a meritocracy could work only if the game weren't rigged".

King later attempted to explain his tweets.

King later tried to clarify his comments, saying that he believed in giving people a fair shot, adding: "You can't win awards if you're shut out of the game". "Right now such people are badly under-represented, and not only in the arts", he continued in a third tweet. No women were nominated in the Best Director category, despite Greta Gerwig being hotly tipped, and Cynthia Erivo was the only non-white nominee being given a nod in the Best Actress category for her role in Harriet.

Critics pointed to several acting snubs including Jennifer Lopez in "Hustlers", Lupita Nyong'o in "Us", Awkwafina in "The Farewell" and Eddie Murphy in "Dolemite Is My Name" as those who would have improved the diversity among the Oscar nominees. The LA Times' Jen Yamamoto pointed out that only five women have been nominated for Best Director in the Oscars' almost 100-year history, with Kathryn Bigelow ("Hurt Locker") being the only female director to win the accolade.

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