After staff walked out of work at publisher Hachette Book Group over its move to publish Woody Allen‘s memoir Apropos of Nothing, the company opted to drop the book.
“The decision to cancel Mr. Allen’s book was a difficult one. At HBG we take our relationships with authors very seriously, and do not cancel books lightly,” the publisher announced.
They continued: “We have published and will continue to publish many challenging books. As publishers, we make sure every day in our work that different voices and conflicting points of views can be heard.”
This comes after not just an in-house protest, but a serious backlash on social media led by his adopted son and daughter. His daughter Dylan Farrow accused him of sexually assaulting her when she was a child, an accusation that was resurfaced during the #MeToo movement. Her brother, Ronan Farrow, helped launch the #MeToo movement, meanwhile, and was outraged when news broke of Hachette’s forthcoming publication, especially in light of the fact that the publisher released his blockbuster book Catch and Kill, which documented his work in the #MeToo movement.
Allen has long denied allegations of misconduct, and raised objection to the #MeToo movement more generally, which prompted Amazon to nix their four-film contract with him, and resulted in several stars discontinuing their working relationships with him.
Both Farrows claimed that Hachette didn’t fact-check Allen’s claims in the memoir.
Reactions on Twitter were mixed. Franklin Leonard wrote in support of the move: “Woody Allen has every right and ability to self publish this memoir if he so chooses. He does not, however, have a right to a major publishing house deal. This is not censorship, and some of y’all need to stop acting like it is.” A critic of the decision tweeted: “Sad to see Hatchette sic cave so easily. They should have published the book—many of us were looking forward to it.”
Stephen King seemed concerned, tweeting: “The Hachette decision to drop the Woody Allen book makes me very uneasy. It's not him; I don't give a damn about Mr. Allen. It's who gets muzzled next that worries me.”