Nicholas Sparks—author of The Notebook, Safe Haven, and many other sappy novels-turned-movies that we all hate to love or love to hate—has been accused of racism, anti-Semitism, and homophobia. Yikes.
In 2006, Sparks founded The Epiphany School of Global Studies,a Judeo-Christian based prep school committed to “Love God and Your Neighbor as Yourself.” It appears, however, that Sparks’ neighbors aren’t getting much love.
Former headmaster Saul Benjamin has filed a lawsuit after what he believes was “unlawful termination” of his position. He supports this lawsuit with allegations of racism, homophobia, and anti-Semitism against Sparks and several other members of the school’s Board of Trustees.
With claims ranging from offhand racial comments and a deliberate lack of diversity to the endorsement of a vicious student plot against the school’s small LGBT group, this best-selling author is no doubt feeling the heat. Though his lawyers deny all claims, there is, of yet, no statement from Sparks himself.
So what does this mean for Sparks’ career? Are we witnessing the fall of one of the mighty? (In a 2008 interview with Entertainment Weekly, Sparks put himself on par with the likes of Shakespeare, Hemingway, and Greek tragedians. Yes, he really did that. In real life.)
Will we see no more feel-good love stories featuring beautiful, white, Christian protagonists overcoming adversity to proclaim their undying love for each other as they walk off into the sunset? The literary world is on the edge of their seats.
It isn’t hard to imagine how diehard Sparks fans may be reacting to this controversy—if you will, picture a swarm of angry mom-jeans waving glossy hardcovers in your face, harrumphing and posting lengthy Facebook comments. All in a day’s work.