Stephen King says House Speaker’s election drama was like vacation to UTICA


Horror author Stephen King has apologized after jokingly tweeting that the recent House Speaker election was as agonizing as a vacation to Utica.  

The Misery writer, who is a frequent user on Twitter, with more than 7 million followers likened the industrial upstate New York city to the speakership debacle in which a vote to elect McCarthy to House Speaker took 15 attempts over multiple days.

‘The Speakership is like that old joke: First prize is a week in Utica. Second prize is TWO weeks in Utica,’ he joked.

Horror author Stephen King has apologized for making a comment about upstate New York as he compared it to the controversy surrounding the Kevin McCarthy's speakership battle in the U.S. House of Representatives

Horror author Stephen King has apologized for making a comment about upstate New York as he compared it to the controversy surrounding the Kevin McCarthy’s speakership battle in the U.S. House of Representatives

The Misery writer who is a frequent user on Twitter with more than 7 million followers, likened the speakership to a vacation in Utica, New York, in a tweet

The Misery writer who is a frequent user on Twitter with more than 7 million followers, likened the speakership to a vacation in Utica, New York, in a tweet

But the residents of Utica did not take the jibe lying down, and King’s tongue-in-cheek comment was met with backlash from residents and lawmakers of 65,000 strong city who rose to defend its reputation. 

It came as McCarthy needed several days to win 20 Republicans who initially did not support his speakership.

He finally won the position following 15 rounds of voting.

His comments appeared to touch a nerve with those associated with the city. 

In the end, McCarthy narrowly won the Speakership with 216 votes in the early hours of Saturday January 7

In the end, McCarthy narrowly won the Speakership with 216 votes in the early hours of Saturday January 7

The comment was met with backlash from residents and lawmakers of 65,000 strong city who rose to defend its reputation and appeared touchy at King's little joke

The comment was met with backlash from residents and lawmakers of 65,000 strong city who rose to defend its reputation and appeared touchy at King’s little joke

‘Utica is a great city!’ Utica councilman Delvin J. Moody tweeted. ‘I am a utica native and proud to be so. The speakership is a whole over cluster mess.’

‘Hey, man… Utica is a great city,’ New York Rep. Marcus Molinaro said.

‘Utica is far from ‘The Dead Zone’ these days Mr. King. Come and see how #OneidaCounty has grown,’ Oneida County Executive Anthony J. Picente Jr. tweeted.

Others got personal with King: ‘You are not Funny and your books are not that good,’ stated one.

‘So what if insult 330k in metro area!! So typical of the superior attitude you have about yourself?’ added another.

‘Hmmmmm…. Semi famous people who think there important and opinion matters….’ jabbed one Twitter user.

‘Remember when Stephen King was relevant? Yeah never,’ chimed another. 

King, author of The Shining, Carrie and other blockbusters, later apologized acknowledging that his comment was inappropriate

King, author of The Shining, Carrie and other blockbusters, later apologized acknowledging that his comment was inappropriate

'Thanks for the apology Stephen King', New York State Governor Kathy Hochul tweeted. 'A reminder not to pick a fight with 20 million New Yorkers!'

‘Thanks for the apology Stephen King’, New York State Governor Kathy Hochul tweeted. ‘A reminder not to pick a fight with 20 million New Yorkers!’

Utica, New York is famous for its history as a center of industry and immigration, particularly for its role in the development of the American textile industry in the 19th century

Utica, New York is famous for its history as a center of industry and immigration, particularly for its role in the development of the American textile industry in the 19th century

King, author of The Shining, Carrie and other blockbusters, later apologized acknowledging that his comment was inappropriate. 

‘I sincerely apologize to all the people from Utica I offended. I guess I should have said Cleveland?or Salt Lake City?’ he wrote. 

‘Thanks for the apology Stephen King’, New York State Governor Kathy Hochul tweeted. ‘A reminder not to pick a fight with 20 million New Yorkers!’ 

He also acknowledged that Utica has been referenced in his work before and that his daughter had even served as a minister at Unitarian Universalist Church in the city. 

Horror author Stephen King, 74, arrives at court in August 2022 to testify against his own publisher, Simon & Schuster, on behalf of the government during a trial in which the US Department of Justice is trying to convince a federal judge to prevent the proposed merger of Penguin Random House and Simon & Schuster

Horror author Stephen King, 74, arrives at court in August 2022 to testify against his own publisher, Simon & Schuster, on behalf of the government during a trial in which the US Department of Justice is trying to convince a federal judge to prevent the proposed merger of Penguin Random House and Simon & Schuster

Last year, King testified at a trial to block a $2.2billion merger between Penguin Random House and Simon & Schuster calling the proposed plans post-merger ‘a little bit ridiculous.’

King told a court that if the two mammoth publishing houses merge and still fight against each other for books it will be like ‘a husband and wife bidding against each other for the same house.’ 

He is among a group of people standing against the $2.2billion merger at the antitrust trial, along with publishing executives and authors’ agents.

Penguin Random House, the largest book publisher in the United States, said it planned to buy rival Simon & Schuster in November 2020.

The publishing house is owned by German media conglomerate Bertelsmann. Simon & Schuster is owned by ViacomCBS, now Paramount Global. The Justice Department filed its lawsuit in a bid to block the merger in November 2021.

King is fighting against his own publisher Simon & Schuster, who has represented him for years – as many fear that the ‘Big Five’ publishing houses becoming four will do harm to the industry. 

He has published more than 60 novels and sold over 350 million copies worldwide. 

The paperback advance he received for Carrie in 1974 was $400,000 – which today is the equivalent of $2.4million. 



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