Hachette Cancels Woody Allen
The decision to pull his memoir comes on the heels of Friday’s employee walk-out
Woody Allen recently returned to the news after publisher Hachette announced it would publish the filmmaker’s forthcoming memoir with the most Woody Allen title of all time–Apropos of Nothing–in April. Hachette pulled that memoir on Friday after publishing industry employees staged a protest amid continued allegations of Allen’s sexual abuse of his adopted daughter Dylan Farrow in the 1990s.
In a statement to the Hollywood Reporter, a representative for Hachette said, “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. 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.”
Ronan Farrow, Allen’s son with Mia Farrow and one of the journalists who broke the Harvey Weinstein story, released a statement on Twitter that criticized Hachette, who published his 2019 book Catch and Kill, and severed all ties with the publishing giant. In solidarity with Farrow and to protest the memoir’s publication, dozens of Hachette employees, along with their colleagues across the industry, walked out on Friday afternoon.
75 plus employees of Hachette are standing in solidarity with @ronanfarrow, @realdylanfarrow and survivors of sexual assault and walked out of the Hachette offices today in protest of Woody Allen’s memoir. #HachetteWalkout #LittleBrownWalkout pic.twitter.com/wTNi3c7gy8
— Kendra Barkoff Lamy (@kabarkoff) March 5, 2020
In response, Ronan and Dylan Farrow shared their gratitude for the Hachette employees’ efforts and for the company’s decision to cancel Allen’s memoir:
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
Many on and off Twitter celebrated the decision, seen as siding with survivors of sexual violence instead of powerful abusers:
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. https://t.co/c0E5RwWpGJ
— Franklin Leonard (@franklinleonard) March 6, 2020
Meanwhile, others fear what the book’s cancellation says about censorship in the U.S.
What a joke. Imagine running a business like this — making a decision to publish a book and then reversing it because some of your staff throw a tantrum. https://t.co/pXZpCaWtAn
— Damon Linker (@DamonLinker) March 6, 2020
In particular, author Stephen King said in a Tweet, “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.” He continued later, “Let me add that it was fucking tone-deaf of Hachette to want to publish Woody Allen’s book after publishing Ronan Farrow’s.”