With the top being blown off poor sexual conduct worldwide as part of the #MeToo movement, we guess it was only a matter of time before it hit the book industry too. This week their agents have publicly dropped both James Dashner and Jay Asher after claims of sexual harassment.
A series of allegations were made online about both Dashner and Asher as part of the #MeToo movement, made worse possibly because both authors are children’s authors and as part of their work come into contact with many young adults. The accusations were made on the US site School Library Journal and were repeated by many accusers.
Dashner was named by several online complainants and is yet to comment on the accusations. However his agent Michael Bourret has commented that “Under the circumstances, I couldn’t in good conscience continue working with James, and I let him go,”.
Meanwhile, Asher who was named on the site has publicly denied any wrongdoing, but has also lost his literary representation. His literary agent Angela Brown said “we have counselled Jay to take a step back from the industry and he’s doing so. He is no longer working with the agency.”.
The claims have shaken the world of youth publishing, in an industry that possibly thought it was above the misconduct we’ve seen in the film industry recently. Many authors, inlcuing Vernonica Roth, Lemony Snicket (Daniel Handler) and Melissa De Cruz have signed a pledge online to promise to be vigilant about any harassment in the industry.
According to his daughter, JC Lee, Stan was working on a new character Dirt Man after she asked him if he would write a new superhero without all the “steel” and “clatter” of his previous creations. As an alternative to the shiny and spectacular heroes we are used to she suggested a new hero should get “down and dirty” instead.
JC Lee told TMZ Live: “We have been working on a character called Dirt Man. [He is the] last little angel that we’ve got tucked away.”
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