Stephen King apologizes again for "palpable bitchery" tweet: "That wasn't my intention"

"I apologize for screwing up," says the horror writer, who refers to his books as proof he has "respect" for women

By Salon Staff

Published February 6, 2014 1:48AM (EST)

Stephen King.    (AP/Mark Lennihan)
Stephen King. (AP/Mark Lennihan)

Stephen King has issued a longer apology for the controversy he touched off for a tweet in which he referred to "an element of palpable bitchery" with regard to Dylan Farrow.

King -- responding to author Mary Karr, who shared a link to a New Inquiry story defending Farrow's New York Times open letter about the sexual abuse allegations she's made about Woody Allen -- wrote that: “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 …

He began backing down after a furious response emerged online. First he tweeted that "Have no opinion on the accusations; hope they’re not true. Probably used the wrong word," and then said he nodded to his newness on Twitter and that he was "Still learning my way around this thing. Mercy, please."

In his apology, he suggests he did not intend the word "bitchery" to refer to either Mia or Dylan Farrow. "I used the wrong word to describe not Ms. Farrow—either Ms. Farrow—but a sad and painful mess," he wrote.

Here's his latest, and longer, apology tonight. It was posted on his web site, and he tweeted a link to it.

Those of you who follow Twitter will know that recently I managed to put my foot in my mouth and halfway down my throat. 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.

Salon Staff

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Apologies Dylan Farrow Mia Farrow Palbable Bitchiness Stephen King Woody Allen