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Woody Allen’s publisher is dropping his memoir.
Hachette Book Group announced Friday that it wouldn’t be moving forward with Allen’s memoir, “Apropos of Nothing,” originally set to be published in April. The news of its publication had triggered staff walkouts and a very public rebuke from the investigative reporter Ronan Farrow, Allen’s estranged son and a fellow Hachette author.
Farrow’s sister Dylan Farrow has accused Allen of sexually assaulting her at age 7, an allegation Allen denies. (Both Ronan and Dylan are the children of the actress Mia Farrow, Allen’s former partner.) In his statement, Ronan Farrow said that Hachette never contacted Dylan to fact-check Allen’s account.
Farrow added that he would be cutting ties with Hachette, which published his bestselling book “Catch and Kill” on his investigation into Harvey Weinstein. The publisher, Farrow said in a statement, “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.”
“It’s wildly unprofessional in multiple obvious directions for Hachette to behave this way,” Farrow wrote. “But it also shows a lack of ethics and compassion for victims of sexual abuse, regardless of any personal connection or breach of trust here.”
Dylan Farrow also posted a statement confirming that she had never been contacted even though “my story has undergone endless scrutiny and has never been published without extensive fact-checking.”
On Thursday, dozens of staffers from imprints at Hachette walked out.
“Out in the street, being with fellow workers was, on its own, a jubilant kind of thing,” said one Hachette employee who walked out. People were “surprised that we can do this and we can amass so many people.”
But it wasn’t until Friday afternoon that staffers learned in a standing-room-only meeting that Allen’s memoir was officially cancelled, according to the employee, who asked to speak anonymously.
“We were relieved,” they said. “We were happy that it happened. And, credit where it’s due, we were surprised.”
“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,” Hachette Book Group said in a statement, according to the Hollywood Reporter. “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.”
The employee told VICE News that they didn’t know what would happen next.
“It’s an interesting precedent to set, and I hope that it matters, going forward,” they said. “I hope they take seriously the idea that they’re gonna let their employees exert their rights and criticize and speak up against books they don’t believe in.”
Cover: Director Woody Allen attends a press conference at La Scala opera house, in Milan, Italy, Tuesday, July 2, 2019. Woody Allen is directing Puccini’s ‘Gianni Schicchi’ opera, which opens Saturday in Milan. The opera premiered in Los Angeles and it’s making its debut at La Scala. (AP Photo/Luca Bruno)