Credit: Screen grab
Muslim Writer Rages at Stephen King Because No One Would Publish Her Ilhan Omar Children’s Book

Muslim Writer Rages at Stephen King Because No One Would Publish Her Ilhan Omar Children’s Book

A Muslim activist and artist weighed in on a controversy surrounding diversity in the arts by lamenting that she’d been unable to get anyone to publish her children’s book about Rep. Ilhan Omar.

Kay Tarapolsi, a Libyan American artist who according to her website creates art to “promote a positive image of Arab and Islamic culture,” accused horror writer Stephen King of displaying his “white privilege” on Tuesday.

King tweeted earlier in the day that he “would never consider diversity in matters of art.”


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“It seems to me that to do otherwise would be wrong,” he added.

The iconic novelist’s tweet earned him fierce backlash from progressive Twitter users, including Tarapolsi, outraged by King’s lack of “wokeness.”

Tarapolsi slammed King for his “white privilege” and said she’d been unable to find a publisher for her “quality children’s book on Ilhan Omar” last summer.

The “struggle” to get her book published was “painful,” Tarapolsi revealed, and ultimately fruitless.

“You have zero idea how to live in my world, where I can’t even find one book like this for my child,” she added.


Other Twitter users joined in the pile on, arguing that King’s status as a “white man” disqualified him from speaking on the realities facing people of color.

“Sir, respectfully saying you as a white man can’t really say that,” tweeted David Weissman, an American screenwriter who also happens to be white. “You had more advantages and opportunities than a person of color would have. They have been wrongfully held back in so many ways just because of their color skin.”

Feminist writer Roxane gay said it was “painful” to read King’s tweet.

“It implies that diversity and quality cannot be synonymous. They are not separate things. Quality is everywhere but most industries only believe in quality from one demographic. And now, here you are,” she said in reply.

“Every writer of color reading this, including me, has had to work ten times harder to get the same recognition/opportunities straight white male authors get from the start,” tweeted LitReactor columnist Gabino Iglesias.

“Same goes for women, LGBTQIA writers, & other underrepresented voices. Diversity matters. It matters a lot.”

Morgan Jenkins, a senior editor for Zora, said King’s take was “unfair.”

“When films created by people of color, irrespective of quality, constantly get overlooked by institutions that are predominately comprised of white men, there is an implicit bias at work here,” she tweeted.

“You can’t…you didn’t just…oh ffs, Stephen, not you, too! With as much white male privilege as you have, with the audience to which you have access, if you won’t move the conversation forward, then BEEP BEEP, RICHIE,” tweeted one commenter.

King’s take was likely particularly disappointing to progressive Twitter users given his reliably left-wing positions in the past.

The “Carrie” writer has been a fierce critic of President Donald Trump, who he once said was “scarier” than his novels.

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In 2018, viral technology blog Mashable compiled a list of 37 anti-Trump tweets penned by King.

Cover image: Rep. Ilhan Omar, D-Minn. (Screen grab)



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