Woody Allen's memoir cancelled by Hachette after staff walkout
Woody Allen’s memoir A Propos of Nothing has been dropped by Hachette after a staff walkout.
The publishing company said in a statement: ‘Hachette Book Group has decided that it will not publish Woody Allen’s memoir A Propos of Nothing, originally scheduled for sale in April 2020, and will return all rights to the author.
‘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.’
Hachette employees had previously staged a walkout in protest of the publication of the memoir.
According to reports, many of those who walked out sent out an auto-reply email reading: ‘We stand in solidarity with Ronan Farrow, Dylan Farrow and survivors of sexual assault.’ Among those who walked out was Little, Brown executive editor Vanessa Mobley, was the editor of Catch And Kill.
The walkout at 3pm was timed with a town hall meeting scheduled by HBG CEO Michael Pietsch, where he had planned to answer questions about why Grand Central acquired Allen’s autiobiography.
Employees stood outside their offices for an hour before going home, according to Slate.
Dylan Farrow had claimed she was abused by Allen, then the partner ofher mum Mia Farrow, in August of 1992 when she was seven years old, allegingshe was taken to an ‘attic crawl space’ in her mother’s country house and‘instructed to lie on her stomach and play with her brother’s toy set’ beforeAllen allegedly ‘touched her labia and vulva’.
During the investigation into Dylan’s allegations against Allen in1993, Mia was accused of ‘planting’ the story in her daughter’s head in revengefor Allen having an affair with her adopted daughter Soon-Yi.
No charges were pressed against Allen, and he always denied the claims.
Dylan’s brother Ronan Farrow also previously spoke out against the memoir, after Hachette acquired the rights.
The Pulitzer Prize winning journalist wrote: ‘I was disappointed to learn through press reports that Hachette, my publisher, acquired Woody Allen’s memoir after other major publishers refused to do so and concealed the decision from me and its own employees while we were working on Catch and Kill – a book about how powerful men, including Woody Allen, avoid accountability for sexual abuse.
‘Hachette did not fact check the Woody Allen book. My sister Dylan has never been contacted to respond to any denial or mischaracterisation of the abuse she suffered at the hands of Woody Allen – a credible allegation, maintained for almost three decades, backed up by contemporaneous accounts and evidence.’
Farrow continued: ‘It’s wildly unprofessional in multiple obviousdirections for Hachette to behave this way. But it also shows a lack of ethicsand compassion for victims of sexual abuse, regardless of any personalconnection or breach of trust here.
‘I’ve encouraged Hachette, out of respect for its readers, authors and reputation, to conduct a thorough fact check of Woody Allen’s account, in particular any claim that implies my sister is not telling the truth. I’ve also told Hachette that a publisher that would conduct itself in this way is one I can’t work with in good conscience.’
Metro.co.uk has contacted reps for Allen for comment.
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