Stephen King says the Oscars are 'rigged' in favour of white people

Ben Arnold
·Contributor
Stephen King headshot, writer, graphic element on gray
Stephen King (Credit: AP)

Stephen King has said that the Oscars are 'rigged in favour of white people' in a scathing op-ed piece for The Washington Post.

It follows remarks from the veteran writer last week in which he said that, as an Oscar voter, he could 'never consider diversity in matters of art, only quality'.

The annual Hollywood award ceremony has once again come under scrutiny for its lack of diversity in both gender and race among this year's nominations.

Read more: Stephen King enters Oscars diversity row

But now King has sought to clarify his comments in the opinion piece, which is entitled 'The Oscars are still rigged in favor of white people'.

He said that while progress has been made by the Academy, it's still 'Not even within shouting distance of good enough'.

“I stepped over one of those lines recently, by saying something on Twitter that I mistakenly thought was noncontroversial,” he admitted.

“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. Nor did I say that films, novels, plays and music focusing on diversity and/or inequality cannot be works of creative genius.”

Ava DuVernay speaks at the OWN: Oprah Winfrey Network's "Cherish the Day" during the Discovery Network TCA 2020 Winter Press Tour at the Langham Huntington on Thursday, Jan. 16, 2020, in Pasadena, Calif. (Photo by Willy Sanjuan/Invision/AP)
Ava DuVernay (Credit: Willy Sanjuan/Invision/AP)

King noted director Ava Duvernay's miniseries When They See Us, about the wrongful convictions of the Central Park Five, as an example of this.

Duvernay was among those who took to Twitter to express their disappointment in King's remarks at the time.

Read more: All the British Oscar nominees

King did seek to mitigate them at the time too, however, adding that 'you can't win awards if you're shut out of the game'.

This year's actors categories feature just one black actress – British star Cynthia Erivo for role in Harriet – while those up for best director this year are all male, despite widespread acclaim for Greta Gerwig's Little Women.