As Hachette drops Woody Allen memoir following backlash, French subsidy set to go ahead with release
The Hachette Book Group has decided not to publish Woody Allen's memoir Apropos of Nothing following massive backlash which included Hachette employees staging a walkout and Allen's son Ronan Farrow severing ties with the publisher.
The Hachette Book Group has decided not to publish Woody Allen's memoir Apropos of Nothing following massive backlash.
Hachette's imprint Grand Central Publishing had acquired the memoir a year ago and was set to release it on 7 April.
While Hachette has dropped the book, their French subsidiary Stock is going ahead with release on 29 April, their edition titled Soit dit en passant.
The Hachette Book Group has decided not to publish Woody Allen's memoir Apropos of Nothing following massive backlash which included Hachette employees staging a walkout and Allen's son Ronan Farrow severing ties with the publisher. Hachette's imprint Grand Central Publishing had acquired the memoir a year ago and was set to release it on 7 April.
Allen has become a subject of discussion over the resurfacing of the sexual assault allegations levelled against him by his step-daughter Dylan Farrow, journalist Ronan Farrow's sister, which caught steam in the wake of the #MeToo uprising. He has repeatedly denied the accusations.
In a statement, Hachette said the decision to cancel the book's publication was a "difficult one," adding: "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."
In response, Dylan and Ronan Farrrow offered thanks via Twitter:
— Dylan Farrow (@RealDylanFarrow) March 6, 2020
I’m grateful to all the Hachette employees and authors who spoke up and to the company for listening.
— Ronan Farrow (@RonanFarrow) March 6, 2020
Meanwhile, author Stephen King tweeted his condemnation about this decision, clarifying that his concern was not Allen but "who gets muzzled next."
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 followed this up with a tweet about how one can respond instead of cancelling the book entirely:
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
While Hachette has dropped the book, their French subsidiary Stock is going ahead with release on 29 April, their edition titled Soit dit en passant. Stock's chairman Manuel Carcassonne described the 84-year-old director as "one of the century's great artists." He also pointed out about the sexual abuse allegations that Allen "was entirely cleared on two occasions by the American courts, by judicial experts, by psychiatrists. My conviction is that he is entirely innocent of the accusations against him.”
This decision comes at a sensitive time in the French film industry, following the controversy around the French Film Academy's decision to award its best director honour, the César, to Roman Polanski, who is wanted on rape charges in the US and accused of sexual assault in France. "Woody Allen is not Roman Polanski," Carcassonne said. "Roman Polanski has acknowledged some of the accusations made against him. This is not at all the case for Woody Allen who has always protested his innocence and proved it in US courts."
With inputs from the Press Trust of India.
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