Stephen King is a master of his craft—but that doesn't mean everything he writes is going to be good.
The best-selling horror author and newbie Twitter user issued an apology Tuesday after firing off a tweet-gone-wrong in response to Dylan Farrow's open letter in the New York Times reiterating her assertion that Woody Allen molested her when she was 7 years old.
"Boy, I'm stumped on that one," King tweeted Monday in response to another writer's story about Dylan's piece that asked Allen's defenders to question why they were so quick to side with him. "I don't like to think it's true, and there's an element of palpable bitchery there, but..."
Well, that wasn't the right thing to say!
@marykarrlit Boy, I'm stumped on that one. I don't like to think it's true, and there's an element of palpable bitchery there, but...— Stephen King (@StephenKing) February 3, 2014
Have no opinion on the accusations; hope they're not true. Probably used the wrong word.? Stephen King (@StephenKing) February 4, 2014
Still learning my way around this thing. Mercy, please.? Stephen King (@StephenKing) February 4, 2014
That certainly wasn't enough as far as the Internet, including the many who have applauded Dylan Farrow for her bravery, was concerned.
King then followed up yesterday with a more elaborate mea culpa, regretting his use of the B-word—and he reiterated that he's still getting used to the 140-characters-or-bust nature of Twitter.
"Those of you who follow Twitter will know that recently I managed to put my foot in my mouth and halfway down my throat," he wrote on his website.
"A good many people came away from my tweet about the Woody Allen controversy with the idea that I had called Dylan Farrow or Mia Farrow (or both) a bitch. That wasn't my intention, but the conclusion on the part of some readers is understandable. I used the wrong word to describe not Ms. Farrow—either Ms. Farrow—but a sad and painful mess. Some people seem to believe that writers never use the wrong word, but any editor can tell you that's not true.
"Those of you who have read my work—Carrie, Dolores Claiborne, Rose Madder, and Lisey's Story, to name four—will know that I have plenty of respect for women, and care about the problems and life-situations they face. My single-mom mother faced plenty, believe me. And I have no sympathy whatever for those who abuse children. I wrote about such abuse—and its ultimate cost to the victim—in Gerald's Game.
"The maximum number of letters in a Tweet is 140. I think the following would fit: I apologize for screwing up. Just know my heart is where it's always been: in the right place."
Since Dylan's letter was published online Saturday as part of Nicolas Kristof's regular column in the Times, all forms of media have been ablaze with debate about Allen's legacy in Hollywood, the accusations leveled at but never proved against the filmmaker, whether Dylan's to be believed, the unfair stigma of shame that prevents so many abuse victims from coming forward, and more hot-button issues.
"My mother drummed it into me to hate my father for tearing about my family and sexually molesting my sister," Moses, who along with Dylan was adopted by Mia and Woody when they were a couple, told the magazine. "And I hated him for her for years. I see now that this was a vengeful way to pay him back for falling in love with Soon-Yi [Previn]."
Mia and then-husband André Previn had three biological children together and then adopted three others, including Soon-Yi in the late 1970s.
Meanwhile, as awards season builds up to its pièce de résistance, the Oscars, all eyes are on Cate Blanchett, who's been considered a lock to win Best Actress for Allen's latest film, Blue Jasmine, having already won a Golden Globe, a SAG Award and numerous honors from critics groups.
She did not mention Allen, who was the recipient of the Cecil B. DeMille Award honoring lifetime achievement at last month's Golden Globes, in her acceptance speech at the Santa Barbara International Film Festival this past weekend, and she skipped her appearances that were scheduled for this morning on Good Morning America and Live! With Kelly and Michael.
"It's obviously been a long and painful situation for the family and I hope they find some resolution and peace," she told reporters at the festival when asked her thoughts on Allen.
Of course, since Sunday Blanchett has also been mourning the death of longtime friend Philip Seymour Hoffman, which could also explain her cancelling on the morning shows. She was seen visiting the Manhattan home of Hoffman's partner, Mimi O'Donnell, on Monday.