A US publishing house has cancelled the plans to publish a Woody Allen memoir.
Hachette Book Group (HBG) made the decision after employees walked out in protest in both New York and Boston offices. Employees are not impressed with the idea of publishing, and making money for, an alleged sex offender.
Woody Allen’s son and daughter, Ronan and Dylan Farrow, had also spoken against the deal. Journalist Ronan Farrow wrote a book for the publishing company HBG last year about how and why powerful men are not punished for misconduct.
His adopted sister, Dylan, has accused Woody Allen of sexually abusing her in 1992 when she was seven years old. The claim, which Allen denies, was investigated but led to no criminal charges.
Ronan Farrow, journalist
An HBG spokeswoman Sophie Cottrell called the decision to scrap the memoir – Apropos of Nothing – “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,” she also said.
The company stated that there had been ‘listening sessions’ with staff members, which prompted the publisher to come “to the conclusion that moving forward with publication would not be feasible”. The publishing house will also return rights to Allen.
A seething Dylan Farrow released a statement accusing Hachette of betraying one of their authors, her brother Ronan Farrow, whose book about the Weinstein allegations, Catch and Kill, was published by HBG in October 2019.
“Hachette’s publishing of Woody Allen’s memoir is deeply upsetting to me personally and an utter betrayal of my brother whose brave reporting, capitalised on by Hachette, gave voice to numerous survivors of sexual assault by powerful men,” she wrote.
“This provides yet another example of the profound privilege that power, money and notoriety affords. Hachette’s complicity in this should be called out for what it is and they should have to answer for it.”
Ronan Farrow also accused HGB of concealing the book deal from himself and the HGB staff.