Disclaimer: Stephen King is my favorite author. Has been for years. I am not a sycophant, not someone who likes everything he says and does — especially all the politics he too often gets wrapped up in — and I haven’t enjoyed every story he’s ever written, but the majority of his work is at least entertaining and, some of it, amazing.
Love him or hate him, the man is one of the most prolific and greatest living writers on the planet.
Doctor Sleep ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️
My second favorite movie of 2019 was a King adaptation by talented director Michael Flanagan which somehow threaded the needle with Stanley Kubrick’s The Shining masterpiece and a sequel. It blew me away.
Even as great as King is, though, and again I’m merely one of his many Constant Readers, he can still be flamed on Twitter over stepping into thorny issues.
Case in point: diversity in the Oscars.
the “Carrie” author posted. “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. Only quality. It seems to me that to do otherwise would be wrong.”Stephen King weighs in on Oscars’ diversity issues – New York Daily News
The diversity issue in part is that no women were nominated for Best Director. Greta Gerwig was a glaring omission. Have seen others like Sarah at LittleMovieReviews rightfully mention the same issue here: 2020 OSCAR NOMINATIONS: SNUBS, SURPRISES, AND DISAPPOINTMENTS.
What King says in the quote above is logical. The problem is when we talk about quality from filtered, biased sources quality is already being impacted. King realized this mistake and backpedaled with another tweet a few hours later:
He wrote, “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. Right now such people are badly under-represented, and not only in the arts.
Kudos, well said.
I never checked who was behind the Oscars nominations until this year. Just assumed it was some body of secret voters. Encyclopedia Britannica provides the answer:
The rest of the academy members are not listed, but we can guess who a few are by looking at some of the requirements to join the institution. To qualify, an individual must work in the film industry. This means that neither individuals who work exclusively in television nor members of the press may join. Oscar nominees are often considered for membership automatically, while other candidates must be sponsored by two active members of the branch they wish to join. Each branch also has its own specific requirements. Directors, for example, must have a minimum of two directing credits, at least one of them within the past 10 years.Who Votes for the Academy Awards?
If the milk comes out sour, inspect the cow.
In this case, we know the source of nominations comes from the members themselves, including Stephen King it sounds like — although he admits only being able to nominate in writer-related categories. I can vouch for King’s diversity in book recommendations. I’ve seen him recommend all kinds of varieties of authors and I believe Mrs. Harry Potter J.K. Rowling is one of his favorite writers.
So, the answer to the problem of diversity in Oscar nominations starts with the people who are doing the nomination. If it’s the same group of mostly Hollywood actors and actresses they have their own elite club that needs more women, minorities in there.
It isn’t going to matter if more movies are made by women, minorities and LGBTQ, it means more of these people need to become members of the academy.
Until the academy voting collective itself becomes more diverse, the overall diversity in Oscar nominations will continue to be suspect.