March 7, 2020 11:47:44 am
Hachette Book Group on Friday dropped its plans to publish Woody Allen’s autobiography and said it would return all rights to the author, a day after its employees protested its deal with the filmmaker.
“The decision to cancel Mr. Allen’s book was a difficult one,” a spokeswoman for the publisher said in a statement. “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.”
But she added that Hachette executives had discussed the matter with its employees and, “after listening, we came to the conclusion that moving forward with publication would not be feasible for HBG.”
Letty Aronson, Allen’s sister and producer, declined to comment on Friday.
Hachette announced the book deal on Monday, saying its Grand Central Publishing imprint would release Allen’s autobiography, “Apropos of Nothing,” on April 7. It described the book as “a comprehensive account of his life, both personal and professional,” and said it would include Allen’s writing on “his relationships with family, friends, and the loves of his life.”
The journalist Ronan Farrow, whose book “Catch and Kill” was published by another Hachette imprint, criticized Hachette in an email exchange earlier this week, calling its decision to publish Allen’s book a betrayal. “Your policy of editorial independence among your imprints does not relieve you of your moral and professional obligations as the publisher of ‘Catch and Kill,’ and as the leader of a company being asked to assist in efforts by abusive men to whitewash their crimes,” Farrow wrote to Michael Pietsch, the chief executive of Hachette.
Farrow, whose reporting on accusations of sexual assault against Harvey Weinstein and other powerful men helped touch off the #MeToo movement, is Allen’s son with the actress Mia Farrow. Ronan Farrow and his adopted sister, Dylan Farrow, have long accused Allen of molesting her when she was a child, allegations he has denied. Allen was not charged after two investigations.
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