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Cynthia Erivo Responds to Stephen King's Tweet on Diversity

The British-Nigerian actress begs to differ with the veteran author's tweet on diversity and 'quality' in this year's Oscar nominations.

British-Nigerian actress Cynthia Erivo has responded to veteran author Stephen King's recent tweets on the issue of diversity and this year's Oscar nominations.

King has been subject to considerable backlash since his controversial tweet about how he would "never consider diversity" when it comes to evaluating art of awards citing that, "It seems to me that to do otherwise would be wrong."


It's a turbulent time for the film industry after notable snubs of both women and people of color from prominent award shows such as the British Academy of Film and Television Arts (BAFTAs) and this year's Oscars.

While notable celebrities including The Daily Show host Trevor Noah, film director Ava Duvernay, Erivo and several others have all spoken out against the largely White and male Oscar nominations for this year's awards, others on the other hand, have claimed that seeking diversity would somehow compromise quality—King included.

He tweeted that: "As a writer, I am allowed to nominate in just 3 categories: Best Picture, Best Adapted Screenplay, and Best Original Screenplay. 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."

In response to King's tweets, Erivo said that, "I feel like this year we had a flurry of beautiful pieces by people who are of a diverse nature — black women, women in general." She added that, "We just have to open the doors and open our eyes to the people who are making the work."

Interestingly enough, Erivo is currently a part of The Outsider, a limited series adapted from one of King's novels. Speaking at a press tour for the production, the actress said that, "I am one of the players, so if there's room for me to play, that's what I'm going to do. She ended by saying, "And if I can create room for others, that's also what I'm going to do."

King has since back peddled on his earlier tweets with two others that read: "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. You can't win awards if you're shut out of the game."

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The Honolulu Police Department in Hawaii has recently released the graphic body camera footage which captured Lindani Myeni's last moments. The 29-year-old South African man was killed last week by the police in what they have since alleged was a suspected house burglary. However, details around the death of Myeni have been called into question by the public with the latest video evidence failing to provide any reasonable justification for Myeni having been shot to death by police officers.

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