Hachette Publishing Company was hit with backlash over its announcement it was planning to publish Woody Allen’s memoir. After Allen’s son Ronan Farrow — whose book Catch and Kill was released by Hachette — cut ties with the company, following a staff walkout in protest, the company reversed its decision.
The protests were in support of Allen’s daughter, Dylan Farrow, who has made longstanding allegations that Allen sexually molested her when she was a child.
“The decision to cancel Mr. Allen’s book was a difficult one,” Hachette said in a statement to 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.”
While many have applauded Hachette’s decision to drop the book, novelist Stephen King admits the company’s reversal makes him feel “uneasy.”
In a series of tweets, the “Master of Horror” made the case that Hachette’s decision could open the door to further censorship of other controversial books, something he sees as a slippery slope.
“The Hachette decision to drop the Woody Allen book makes me very uneasy,” King wrote. “It’s not him; I don’t give a damn about Mr. Allen. It’s who gets muzzled next that worries me.”
King was immediately hit by backlash, and defended his opinion by advising anyone who has a problem with Allen’s book to “vote with your wallet” by not buying it, or watching any of his movies.
King also shared his belief “that it was f**king tone-deaf of Hachette” to pick up Allen’s memoir after it had published Farrow’s Cath and Kill.
Meanwhile, King received both criticism and support, exemplified in the following Twitter exchange: