The author responded to the critique of the Oscar nominees’ lack of diversity.
The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences announced nominees for the 92nd Academy Awards on Tuesday. Much like in recent years, critics and filmmakers alike noted the lack of diversity among the nominees. On Tuesday morning, Academy Member and author Stephen King took to Twitter to renounce the necessity for diversity in film.
King explained that he can only nominate in three categories–Best Picture, Best Adapted Screenplay, and Best Original Screenplay. “For me,” King continued, “the diversity issue–as it applies to individual actors and directors–did not come up. That said…I would never consider diversity in matters of art. Only quality.” Understandably, social media users did not take these comments lightly.
The backlash didn’t just come from amateur critics. Oscar-nominated director Ava DuVernay chimed in on the conversation as well. Hours later, DuVernay quoted King’s tweets with her own reaction.
When you wake up, meditate, stretch, reach for your phone to check on the world and see a tweet from someone you admire that is so backward and ignorant you want to go back to bed. https://t.co/nPXOeAebkb
— Ava DuVernay (@ava) January 14, 2020
“When you wake up, meditate, stretch, reach for your phone to check on the world and see a tweet from someone you admire that is so backward and ignorant you want to go back to bed,” DuVernay tweeted.
King attempted to clarify his take just minutes before DuVernay replied. “The most important thing we can do,” he said, “is make sure everyone has the same fair shot, regardless of sex, color, or orientation.”
The issue is obviously important to DuVernay. In 2014, she became the first Black female director to earn a nomination for Best Picture. The nomination was for her film Selma. In 2017, she earned a Best Documentary Feature nomination for 13th.