Stephen King: Oscars 'rigged in favor of the white folks'
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Legendary horror author Stephen King says in a Monday op-ed for The Washington Post that the recently announced Academy Award nominations are proof the institution is “rigged in favor of the white folks.” 

Earlier this month, King was the subject of controversy over a tweet where he said he "would never consider diversity in matters of art. Only quality" in response to criticism of this year's overwhelmingly white honorees.

“I also said, in essence, that those judging creative excellence should be blind to questions of race, gender or sexual orientation. I did not say that was the case today, because nothing could be further from the truth,” King wrote in the Monday opinion piece.

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“Has there been progress in the film community? Yes, some. I’m old enough to remember when there were only a handful of African American directors and about the only female director in Hollywood was Ida Lupino, who made hard-edged noir B pictures in the 1950s and later worked in television. Her directing work was never nominated for an Oscar or an Emmy,” King writes.

King points to the demographic breakdown of the Academy’s voting members as a potential explanation for why some actors and filmmakers were overlooked in major categories.

The voting members this year, he notes, were only 32 percent women and 16 percent minorities. “Not good enough. Not even within shouting distance of good enough,” King wrote.

Using his own work as an example, King says he was indifferent to the casting of Idris Elba as the Gunslinger from his Dark Tower series, saying, "I didn’t care what the character’s skin color was, as long as he could draw fast and shoot straight."

"The response reflects my overall attitude that, as with justice, judgments of creative excellence should be blind," King wrote. "But that would be the case in a perfect world, one where the game isn’t rigged in favor of the white folks. Creative excellence comes from every walk, color, creed, gender and sexual orientation, and it’s made richer and bolder and more exciting by diversity, but it’s defined by being excellent. Judging anyone’s work by any other standard is insulting and — worse — it undermines those hard-won moments when excellence from a diverse source is rewarded (against, it seems, all the odds) by leaving such recognition vulnerable to being dismissed as politically correct."