About a week ago, novelist Stephen King made a strong statement about art versus diversity. Here is what he said: I would never consider diversity in matters of art. Only quality. It seems to me that to do otherwise would be wrong. And he later clarified: Those judging creative excellence should be blind to questions of race, gender, or sexual orientation.
That statement drew a chorus of criticism from woke people. And King ended up apologizing for his defense of art and artists. He shouldn’t have. Why? Because here’s what another King said about diversity and character:
I have a dream that my four little children will one day live in a nation where they will not be judged by the color of their skin but by the content of their character. — Martin Luther King Jr., civil rights leader
More from Stephen King:
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.
We don’t live in that perfect world, and this year’s less-than-diverse Academy Awards nominations once more prove it. Maybe someday we will. I can dream, can’t I? After all, I make stuff up for a living.