“The Hachette decision to drop the Woody Allen book makes me very uneasy,” the author tweeted on Friday. “It's not him; I don't give a damn about Mr. Allen. It's who gets muzzled next that worries me.”
That day, Allen’s April book, titled “Apropos of Nothing” was canceled by the publisher just days after it was announced. The decision came after criticism from Allen’s daughter Dylan Farrow and son Ronan Farrow, and some company employees, who walked out in protest. Dylan has claimed that her father molested her when she was 7-years-old, which Allen has denied.
King’s tweet received pushback from followers on his “bad take” and many criticized Allen. One user remarked, “No one is owed a publishing deal” and singer John Legend responded, “He can say whatever he wants. They are not required to spend their money or resources on distributing it.”
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.— Stephen King (@StephenKing) March 6, 2020
He can say whatever he wants. They are not required to spend their money or resources on distributing it.— John Legend (@johnlegend) March 7, 2020
“If you think he's a pedophile, don't buy the book. Don't go to his movies. Don't go listen to him play jazz at the Carlyle,” King tweeted. “Vote with your wallet...by withholding it. In America, that's how we do.”
If you think he's a pedophile, don't buy the book. Don't go to his movies. Don't go listen to him play jazz at the Carlyle. Vote with your wallet...by withholding it. In America, that's how we do. https://t.co/znGZu0wJEF— Stephen King (@StephenKing) March 7, 2020
On Thursday, in response to the walk-out, King explained that he considers the cancellation of Allen’s book to be in line with censorship. “If you don't want to read it, don't read it,” he tweeted. “Pretty simple. If you work for the publisher and have an ethical problem, ask to be taken off the project. If you should get fired for taking a stand, sue 'em.”
Ronan released his own statement, claiming the publisher did not fact-check his father’s book.
Hey, just wanted to share my thoughts on some recent news: pic.twitter.com/ovPczgx8pB— Ronan Farrow (@RonanFarrow) March 4, 2020
On Friday, Hachette told Yahoo Entertainment in a statement, “Hachette Book Group has decided that it will not publish Woody Allen’s memoir A Propos of Nothing, originally scheduled for sale in April 2020, and will return all rights to the author. 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. 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.”
The statement continued, “Also, as a company, we are committed to offering a stimulating, supportive and open work environment for all our staff. Over the past few days, HBG leadership had extensive conversations with our staff and others. After listening, we came to the conclusion that moving forward with publication would not be feasible for HBG.”
On Twitter, Dylan thanked the employees who protested, saying that she was “in awe and so very grateful.”
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