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Author Stephen King is the latest celebrity to walk back and apologize for comments that offended the politically correct mob— typical when facing their wrath — for questioning judging art on diversity, rather than quality.
King is not shy about sharing his opinions on Twitter. He regularly slams Donald Trump and talks up leftist causes. This is likely why some were so taken aback when he recently tweeted an opinion not fully in line with the woke agenda.
“I would never consider diversity in matters of art. Only quality. It seems to me that to do otherwise would be wrong,” the ‘Salem’s Lot’ writer tweeted.
The tweet was likely a response to the Oscar nominations being announced and critics arguing that the selected nominees were too white and too male.
The backlash to King’s tweet was swift and harsh, with even ‘When They See Us’ filmmaker Ava DuVernay jumping in to say how disappointed she was by someone she admires.
“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.
Others accused King of “white privilege” and some even of racism.
King responded to the criticism by doing an old fashioned apology tour and shying away from his tweet by running about a thousand miles in the opposite direction.
In an op-ed written for The Washington Post, King did an about-face on his original opinion and argued that the Oscars are actually “rigged in favor of white folks.”
“Judgements of creative excellence should be blind. But that would be the case in a perfect world, one where the game isn’t rigged in favor of the white folks,” he wrote.
He also criticized Academy membership for not being diverse enough and talked up how he had been waiting years to see the “film community” make “progress.”
“Has there been progress in the film community? Yes, some,” he wrote. “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’s op-ed should be taken as little more than a vapid act of contrition made by someone afraid to be boxed out of the holy leftist circle he belongs to. Because when you’re out of that circle, it exposes you to all the knee-jerk accusations of racism and ignorance that go with not being part of the woke crowds on the left — see Joe Rogan recently being labeled racist and transphobic following his Bernie Sanders endorsement as a recent example.
These celebrity apology tours are so pandering and empty, it’s a shock anyone takes them seriously.
The new strategy in this world dominated by binary politics, trendy social movements and quick judgements doled out on Twitter is to hide behind the “right” opinions as a shield from criticism for your “wrong” opinions.
In other words, if you find yourself in hot water and out of the cool kids club because you happen to think a protest movement like #OscarsSoWhite is overblown, you can simply pen an op-ed and run in the opposite direction and then be warmly welcomed back because you dropped several catchy phrases and went after those pesky “white folks” ruining everything.
Are we really to believe there is anything genuine about King’s opinion? Or is it more likely his original tweet was his honest opinion and the long-winded rant about a “rigged” system is just based on getting criticized by people he wants to like him?
We’ve seen it oh so many times before.
Matt Damon gives an honest and nuanced answer about how #metoo cases should be judged on an individual basis and a “spectrum” of behavior should be taken into account, and then completely turns around when criticized by leftist groups for the remarks. In his apology, he made himself into a silent and loyal follower of the #TimesUp movement.
“I love them and respect them and support what they’re doing and want to be a part of that change … But I should get in the back seat and close my mouth for a while,” the ‘Jason Bourne’ actor said.
He also quickly found his next gig on the always reliably liberal ‘Saturday Night Live’ where he roasted Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh with a blistering impression. What better way to make up for an opinion the left doesn’t like than by roasting a conservative?
Or how about Shania Twain admitting she would have voted for Trump in 2016 because even though he is “offensive,” he seems “honest”? She scrapped that opinion real quick and made sure everyone knew that her words were not “representative” of her values.
On and on it goes. Step out of line and give an answer that does not fully align with — or in some way challenges — a social movement or cause and you are cast out. And the only way to get back in is with a pandering, empty apology tour where you get on your knees and beg by doing your best to convince everyone that despite your moment of unfiltered honesty, you now see the light.
These apology tours may please woke crowds and angry Twitter mobs, but for the rest of us they just expose the people missing backbones.
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The statements, views and opinions expressed in this column are solely those of the author and do not necessarily represent those of RT.