Hachette Publishing Company has dropped Woody Allen’s memoir after backlash from Ronan Farrow and Hachette’s own employees.
Farrow shared some harsh words for his own publisher, Hachette Book Group, over its recent acquisition of Woody Allen’s memoirs.
On Tuesday, the investigative journalist, whose reporting on Harvey Weinstein ultimately unleashed the #MeToo movement and led to the disgraced movie mogul’s trial and conviction, took to Twitter to slam Hachette for publishing the memoir written by his father.
Ronan and sister Dylan Farrow have long alleged that she was the victim of sexual molestation at the hands of the Oscar-winning filmmaker; Allen has consistently denied the allegations, claiming they were part of then-partner Mia Farrow’s plot to poison their children against him when he embarked on a relationship with Farrow’s adopted daughter (and now Allen’s wife) Soon-Yi Previn.
In an incendiary tweet, Farrow says he’s severing ties from Hachette, which published his bombshell 2019 book Catch and Kill.
On Monday, Hachette announced plans to publish Allen’s memoir, which he had reportedly been shopping around for a year, unable to find a publisher willing to take it on.
Announcing that he’s “disappointed” in Hachette for picking up the book “after other major publishers refused to do so,” Farrow slams the company for not fact-checking “any claim that implies my sister is not telling the truth,” and not contacting his sister so she can “respond to any denial or mischaracterization of the abuse she suffered at the hands of Woody Allen.”
Farrow continues by describing Hachette’s behaviour in this matter as “wildly unprofessional” and indicating “a lack of ethics and compassion for victims of sexual abuse, regardless of any personal connection of breach of trust here.”
He concludes by announcing he’s “told Hachette that a publisher that would conduct itself in this way is one I can’t work with in good conscience.”
On the day of Hachette’s announcement that Allen’s book would be released next month, Dylan Farrow also tweeted a response, calling the news “deeply upsetting” and “an utter betrayal of my brother [Ronan] whose brave reporting, capitalized on by Hachette, gave voices to numerous survivors of sexual assault by powerful men.”
On Thursday, about 75 Hachette employees supported Farrow, reported Variety.
“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,” the employees said in a statement. “We stand in solidarity with Ronan Farrow, Dylan Farrow, and survivors of sexual assault.”
On Friday, one day after the walkout, Hachette announced they will not go forward with publishing the memoir.
“The decision to cancel Mr. Allen’s book was a difficult one,” Hachette said in a statement published by The Wrap. “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 concluded: “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.”
Dylan thanked the employees “who took a stand” and protested against the release of Allen’s memoir. Ronan also expressed his gratitude.