Hachette employees walked out on Thursday in protest of Woody Allen's no-longer-forthcoming memoir.
Update: Woody Allen's memoir will no longer be published.
This news came after a public outcry against the book. On Thursday, over 100 protesters gathered in Rockefeller Plaza outside of the publishing company Hachette's offices.
They were there to make three demands of Michael Pietsch, the chief executive: First, that he rescind his decision to publish Woody Allen's memoir, second that he apologize for approving its publication in the first place, and third that he "recognize that Hachette employees have the ability to speak up about books they disagree with without fear of reprisal," as The New York Times reported.
"This afternoon, Grand Central Publishing employees are walking out of the Hachette New York office in protest of the publication of Woody Allen's memoir," said employees in an email. "We stand in solidarity with Ronan Farrow, Dylan Farrow, and survivors of sexual assault."
Woody Allen has been the subject of multiple sexual misconduct allegations, and most notably he was accused of molesting his daughter Dylan Farrow in the 1990s. Though Allen has denied the accusations and was never convicted, Farrow has stood by her statements and has been supported by her brother, Ronan. On Tuesday, the two released passionate statements in protest to news of the book's release.
Allen's memoir, Apropos of Nothing, was slated to come out on April 7. In response to the protest, a Hachette spokeswoman wrote in a Thursday evening email, "We respect and understand the perspective of our employees who have decided to express their concern over the publication of this book. We will engage our staff in a fuller discussion about this at the earliest opportunity."
"At HBG we take our relationships with authors very seriously, and do not cancel books lightly," she said on Friday. "We have published and will continue to publish many challenging books," she continued, but last minute listening sessions had led "to the conclusion that moving forward with publication would not be feasible".
While of course these employees all had the right to protest, there is some debate over whether or not the memoir should've been published.
According to Suzanne Nossel, the chief executive of PEN America, "We believe everyone — including authors and publishing employees — has the right to express their opinions and raise their voices in protest. That said," she noted, "we also are concerned about the trend of pressuring the withdrawal of books from publication and circulation, depriving readers of the chance to make their own judgments and disincentivizing publishers from taking on contentious topics. While we don't take a position on the editorial judgments in question, we think that once a book is slated for publication, it should not be withdrawn just because it's controversial or gives rise to vociferous objections."
It all comes back to the classic question: Can you separate the art from the artist, and at what point are they inextricable? When does a critique based in social solidarity or ideology become censorship? And aren't the biases inherent in the publishing industry their own forms of censorship as these biases tend to favor certain voices and faces (namely, established voices who will make money) above others? Perhaps this will all lead to a deeper conversation on both sides about who has the right to tell what story.
In the end, it's important to remember that although Woody Allen's memoir was pulled from the shelves, the man is still doing just fine, while abuse survivors continue to suffer even if their abusers are brought to justice.
This article was updated from an earlier version on Friday, March 6.
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Bandcamp is waiving revenue shares today, and you should support POC artists.
Today is another Bandcamp Friday, meaning until midnight tonight, the platform will be waiving revenue shares and letting artists take 100 percent of profits.
Now more than ever, as Black Lives Matter protests occur around the world, it's extremely important to lift marginalized voices. The music industry has repeatedly erased Black voices throughout history, despite the fact that most mainstream genres were invented by Black people.
Basically, just don't defend alleged pedophiles.
Hey Jeff Goldblum, it's me, your new PR guy. Your last one had a family emergency, but don't worry, he totally didn't off himself in the fifth floor bathroom over his top client's inane media fumble.
Speaking of which, Jeff, what were you thinking? You're promoting a jazz album. Quintessential cool dad Jeff Goldblum leading a jazz band called The Mildred Snitzer Orchestra should, quite frankly, be the easiest sell in PR history. So why, in the ever-loving name of Jesus H. Christ, would you randomly say you'd work with Woody Allen again in spite of long-standing allegations that he sexually abused a child? What the hell were you hoping to accomplish?
Look, assuming there's another interview on the horizon, and I'm honestly not sure if there will be––you might be totally canceled buddy, I really don't know––I want to help you find some better talking points about your jazz album that don't involve defending an alleged pedophile. Here are some suggestions:
1. You could, you know, just talk about being a cool, quirky dude who loves jazz music.
That's your whole shtick. You got your big frame glasses and your off-kilter swagger. You play the piano. You're freaking Jeff Goldblum. This should sell itself. WHY WOULD YOU DEFEND WOODY ALLEN WHILE PROMOTING YOUR F*CKING JAZZ ALBUM?
Sorry, I lost it there for a second, didn't mean to yell at you, Jeffy, baby. I'm under a lot of pressure trying to make sure your entire brand isn't sunk, so bear with me. Let's explore some other talking points.
2. Talk about playing Dr. Ian Malcolm in Jurassic Park.
Just talk about that, okay? Try looking in the mirror and saying, "Hey, I'm Jeff Goldblum. I played Dr. Ian Malcolm in Jurassic Park, and now I'm releasing a new jazz album featuring Miley Cyrus. Did you know I play the piano? I do, because I'm cool, quirky Jeff Goldblum."
See? It's not that hard. Not once did that pitch include defending child predator Woody Allen who has been all but entirely blacklisted from Hollywood.
3. Give your opinion on Martin Scorsese's opinion on Marvel movies.
If you really wanted to drum up some controversy around your jazz album, why not just join the ongoing hubbub around Martin Scorsese saying Marvel movies aren't cinema? It's a great topic, because everybody's talking about it for some reason, but let's be honest, nobody actually cares. You were in Thor: Ragnarok, so this is a literal no-brainer. Get in there, hit the zeitgeist, bang, boom, and get out.
Just say: "Hey, I'm Jeff Goldblum, I was in Thor: Ragnarok, and Martin Scorsese is wrong because it's a decent movie, and check out my new jazz album," and that's it. End it there. Don't conclude with, "The #MeToo movement is great, but I also think this one possible pedophile should really have his career salvaged." DO NOT DO THAT.
Then, people will write headlines like "Jeff Goldblum Joins the Marvel Cinema Debate and Has New Jazz Album" instead of "Jeff Goldblum Throws His Lot in with Alleged Pedophile Woody Allen."
4. Make dad jokes.
You had so much goodwill built up, Jeff. The public loves you. You can just make a bunch of goofy dad jokes during an interview and people will eat that sh*t up. This should be so easy. God, why are you doing this to me, Jeff?
5. Literally, talk about ANYTHING other than how you'd still work with Woody Allen, even though he was accused of molesting his 7-year-old daughter.
Look, even if you would be willing to work with Woody Allen, again, in spite of the accusations (I have no idea why you'd want to do that to your career, but okay, for argument's sake, let's say you do), keep that sh*t to yourself. Any statement that begins with, "I support the MeToo movement, but…" is going to be a PR nightmare right now.
How are you failing to grasp this? We're in the midst of a cultural reckoning for rich, powerful men using their positions to sexually abuse people and continually being covered for and propped up by the industries that profit from them. You are a rich, powerful, white man. There is no "but…" from you. If you have a "but…," use it to sit the f*ck down, shut up, and listen. Maybe then, we wouldn't be dealing with you getting canceled during the press junket for a freaking jazz album.
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