Hachette Book Group has decided not to move forward with publishing Woody Allen’s memoir, intended for release in April.
“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,” Sophie Cottrell, a spokesperson for the publisher said in an emailed statement to USA TODAY. “As publishers, we make sure every day in our work that different voices and conflicting points of views can be heard.”
The decision comes after employees of Grand Central Publishing and Little, Brown (both divisions of Hachette Book Group) walked out of work Thursday in protest of their company’s decision to publish Woody Allen’s memoir next month.
The statement continued: “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.”
Grand Central Publishing announced Monday that Allen’s book was to be titled “Apropos of Nothing” and will be a “comprehensive account of his life, both personal and professional, and describes his work in films, theater, television, nightclubs, and print.”
The announcement to publish the book was met with backlash from one of the publisher’s Pulitzer Prize-winning authors – and Allen’s son – Ronan Farrow.
Farrow shared on Twitter that he was “disappointed” that Hachette went behind his back to obtain Allen’s memoir, which he claims hasn’t been fact checked.
“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,” Farrow wrote in a statement posted on Twitter Tuesday.
Farrow continued: “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.”
The Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist said his sister Dylan – who has long accused Allen of molesting her as a child – was never contacted by any fact checkers to verify her father’s memoir.
Dylan said she was moved by the publisher’s employees walking out in protest and tweeted.
“Unbelievably overwhelmed and so incredibly grateful for the solidarity demonstrated by @HachetteUS and @littlebrown employees today, she wrote to her unverified Twitter account. “From the bottom of my heart, thank you.”
Dylan expressed her disappointment with Hachette’s acquiring Allen’s memoir to Twitter shortly after news broke.
“This provides yet another example of the profound privilege that power, money, and notoriety affords,” she wrote. “Hachette’s complicity in this should be called out for what it is and they should have to answer for it.”
Allen, 84, is an Oscar-winning filmmaker, known for such works as “Annie Hall” and “The Purple Rose of Cairo,” and is among the most influential comedians of his time. But allegations by daughter Dylan effectively idled his movie career in the U.S.
Allen has denied any wrongdoing, and he was never charged after two separate investigations in the 1990s. But Farrow’s allegations have received new attention in the #MeToo era.
USA TODAY has reached out to Woody Allen’s reps for comment.
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