Bestselling author Nicholas Sparks is fielding a public relations nightmare and it doesn’t show signs of letting up anytime soon.
It all started last week when Saul Benjamin, the former headmaster at the Epiphany School of Global Studies, a faith-based prep school founded by the Sparks in 2006, accused the author of trying to ban an LGBTQ student group.
A series of leaked emails showed that in 2013, Sparks ordered Benjamin to break up the group and threatened at least two teachers with termination for defending the students, insisting that “not allowing them to have a club is NOT discrimination.”
In another set of emails, Sparks made racist comments about African American kids, claiming that the lack of Black students at his school had less to do with racist policies and more to do with African-Americans being “too poor and can’t do the academic work.”
Yesterday, he apologized for the homophobic emails; however, he has yet to address the racist ones.
“I regret and apologize that mine have potentially hurt young people and members of the LGBTQ community,” Sparks posted to his social media pages on Monday, “including my friends and colleagues in that community.”
He went on to say that he is “an unequivocal supporter of gay marriage, gay adoption, and equal employment rights and would never want to discourage any young person or adult from embracing who they are.”
Sparks also said the emails were written “in haste under stressful and tumultuous conditions” and if he had had more time to reflect on his works, he surely would have been more careful in what he wrote.
Unfortunately for him, people aren’t buying the apology.
And now, the responses…
I was stressed so I emphatically refused to accept a lgbtq club and I praised keeping gay talk quiet. Oops. My bad – Nicholas sparks.
— President Kamala’s Hand (@DearDean22) June 17, 2019
“Potentially”??? No thanks try again pic.twitter.com/uHoODxsNzn
— professional fuckup (unpaid) (@lordefranzia) June 17, 2019
As a writer I am going to try to craft an apologetic non-apology. I sincerely regret that you found out that I’m a hateful person. Thanks!
— Nils Headley (@NilsHeadley) June 17, 2019
So when you gonna write a LGBTQ love story? pic.twitter.com/hgXuQL3zF1
— Laura (@avocadoeyeliner) June 17, 2019
This took you four days to articulate? Why not issue an apology the moment you saw this story last Thursday? Why wait so long?
— ?van Ross Katz (@evanrosskatz) June 17, 2019
— Dave Singleton (@dfsingleton) June 17, 2019
Love thy neighbor… except for those gay kids who want a club so they know they’re not alone in what they’re feeling and going through. ?????
— Hi, I’m Nina. (@mcgovern_nina) June 17, 2019
— Carolina (@iCaroIina) June 17, 2019
Thank you for giving me another reason to dislike you besides your writing
— SETH A QUIMBY (@sethquimby1) June 18, 2019
And will there be another letter to address the racism or nah?
— afi (@femmesportsfan) June 17, 2019
“…has always been a core value of mine.” pic.twitter.com/kueeUtWx7E
— Ricky Gutierrez (@ricky_g03) June 17, 2019
“I’m sorry I was caught being homophobic. Please continue buying my body of sappy, maudlin work while I continue to discriminate in private.”
— Ben Literal (@ben_literal) June 17, 2019
— Candice Luke ? (@CandiceLuke1) June 17, 2019