Last week, it was revealed that romance novelist Nicholas Sparks had disparaged LGBT students in emails to the former headmaster of his Christian school, The Epiphany School of Global Studies. As part of an ongoing lawsuit, former headmaster Saul Benjamin accused Sparks and the school board of marginalizing students and staff whose views didn’t align with the majority of the Christian student body.
Emails obtained by The Daily Beast shed some light on the language used by Sparks to discredit concerns about the lack of diversity and inclusion in the school. The part of the emails that caught the most attention were when Sparks tried to ban an LGBT club on the grounds that it was “pushing an agenda.”
Sparks was initially dismissive of the accusations:
Nicholas Sparks is one of the most successful romance novel writers currently working today. Several of his books have become national bestsellers and have been made into feature films, grossing close to $900 million dollars. Sparks does a lot of work outside of writing, including founding a Christian private school in North Carolina.
The Epiphany School of Global Studies is a Christian prep school founded in 2008 in New Bern, where Sparks lives. The school promises faith-based education with an emphasis on world culture. Though the school’s mission statement promises an education that is “anchored in a Judeo-Christian commandment to love God and your neighbor as yourself”, emails have revealed that the environment might not be so loving after all.
Saul Benjamin, the academy’s former headmaster and CEO, accused the school and Sparks himself of racism, homophobia and harassment. Benjamin first brought up these accusations in 2014. Sparks and the academy have denied the allegations, and a lengthy legal battle has ensued over the years.
Today, The Daily Beast obtained emails written by Sparks to Benjamin that shed some light on the latter’s accusations. In these emails, the author expressed annoyance at Benjamin’s attempts to promote talks about sexuality and diversity, which allegedly promoted many angry reactions from students and staff.
In one email, Sparks believed that the lack of diversity in the school, which is overwhelmingly white and male, was due to money and culture. In another email regarding Sparks’ decision to not allow an LGBT club on campus, the author defended the decision as non-discriminatory because gay students are still allowed to attend the school. The emails go further to tell Benjamin to stop having what “some perceive as an agenda that strives to make homosexuality open and accepted”.
Benjamin has outlined several other complaints about Sparks to court, and the case is scheduled for a six-day trial in August.
Alternate endings are a touchy subject. Regarding the distinctly different film Blade Runner, fans have debated which of the cult classic’s seven iterations rank the best for decades. How I Met Your Mother left fans with extremely mixed feelings after its series finale, but the alternate ending implies that Ted and Tracy live a full life together.
Digital Spy reports that the latest alternate ending uproar revolves around The Notebook, the tearjerker adaptation of Nicholas Sparks‘ equally tearjerking romance novel of the same name. Netflix UK added the romance classic to its rotation of films but released a version that drastically changed its ending. Longtime fans were heartbroken.
The Nicholas Sparks classic follows modern star-crossed lovers Noah and Allie, who fall in love in the 1940s, break up, and eventually find their way back to each other after resolving all sorts of issues ranging from health to family.
Image via Amazon
The film originally ends with the two of them passing away in old age. The alternate ending replaces the final shot of them at peace with a more ambiguous one of birds flying over a lake.
Netflix issued a public twitter acknowledgement of its misstep and returned the original version to the streaming service.
one more thing you should know: we've uploaded the correct (is it correct? who knows at this point) version so the familiar ending is restored
Well, it’s finally happening; Nicholas Sparks’ sappy songbird of a novel will be sung loud and proud on stage. The Notebook, which was obviously turned into a game-changing romantic movie of the same name that captured the hearts and soul of angsty romantics everywhere, is going to break and reassemble our hearts once again. A story whose romance rivals that of Kate and Leo in the one and only Titanic will bring dramatic rainy-day monologues back to contemporary pop culture. This article will now be briefly interrupted for an anecdote.
A brief anecdote: I remember being bed-ridden, sick with the flu, at the age of thirteen. I, like most teenage boys, laughed at the phenomena that were Ryan Gosling and Rachel Macadams’ lovefest. However, my younger sister had ominously left her copy of The Notebook on top of the DVD player… so I watched it. Twice. I was shookith, emotional, but also probably a little delirious. It was the only thing that seemed to ease my pain. And fine, I watched it three times.
Image Via Giphy.com
Nicholas Sparks receives criticism from people for prose that is often simple and predictable, if you are one of these people, you can probably admit to this being part of the charm. His work is easily accessible and entertaining. The man has published twenty soul-mate loving books, most of these everyone knows of because they’ve been adapted into movies, such as Message in a Bottle, A Walk to Remember, Dear John, The Last Song, Nights in Rodanthe, Safe Haven, The Longest Ride… Good lord, this man is bankable. I haven’t even seen the majority of those, but I know of them off the top of my head. Multimillion-dollar films are the result of this author’s love for…well… love. Actors fall for one another on the set of his movies and people all over the globe cry tears of unacquainted love upon reading his novels. He clearly knows what he is doing.
Image Via GQ
Singer/songwriter Ingrid Michaelson has been developing the music for the earlier referenced Broadway adaption of The Notebook for over a year. It will be produced by Sparks with the help of This is Us producer Bekah Brunstetter (who will be penning the play), a show that provokes a compelling amount of emotion. R.I.P Jack. Too much smoke? He saved the family dog and seemed fine. They were laughing. WTF.
Image Via Giphy.com
The idea of turning feature films into Broadway Musicals has become popular lately ever since movies like La La Land (Emma Stone is the definition of BAE= before anyone else) reignited our love of song and dance. Tina Fey just recently brought Mean Girls (famously inspired by the book Queen Bees) to the stage as a musical. It was critically acclaimed due to the comedy genius that is Tina Fey; none of the important plot points or quirks from the movie were lost in translation. The Notebook adaptation execution will most likely be just as faithful to its silver screen counterpart. Here’s to hoping that the “So it’s not gonna be easy. It’s going to be really hard…” number brings everyone to tears like it’s 2004 predecessor.
Fun fact: Nicholas Sparks’ middle name is Charles, Charles was also the name of a British monarch who was tried, convicted, and executed for high treason. Maybe Nicholas should be tried for betraying the emotional welfare of this nation’s youth over and over again.
No casting or opening date announcements have been made yet for this epic.