Harry Potter author JK Rowling has been mired in controversy for quite some time after a controversial social media post. What followed was a detailed essay by the author justifying her tweet on transgender issues and a section of her publisher’s staff not agreeing to work with her.
In more recent developments, they have been told by Hachette UK that they cannot refuse to work with the author on her new book, The Ickabog.
A report in The Independent quotes the publisher’s statement, “Freedom of speech is the cornerstone of publishing. We fundamentally believe that everyone has the right to express their own thoughts and beliefs. That’s why we never comment on our authors’ personal views and we respect our employees’ right to hold a different view. We will never make our employees work on a book whose content they find upsetting for personal reasons, but we draw a distinction between that and refusing to work on a book because they disagree with an author’s views outside their writing, which runs contrary to our belief in free speech.”
Prior to this, Hachette Book Group had faced a similar situation when employees protested over the company acquiring Woody Allen’s memoir. “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,” was their statement.
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