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Earlier in March, you may remember that Woody Allen’s upcoming autobiography, “Apropos of Nothing,” was scheduled be published in April 2020 by Hachette Book Group. Due to employees staging a walkout in protest, Hachette cancelled the publication and returned the rights to Mr. Allen. Some people agreed that it was necessary, but others said it was a form of censorship.
image via amazon
Despite this setback, Woody Allen has found another publication group willing to move forward with his book. Arcade Publishing snapped up his book and is releasing it on Monday, March 30, with a first print run of 75,000 copies despite the ongoing economic crisis occurring caused by the coronavirus pandemic.
Within Allen’s autobiography, he addresses the controversies surrounding his life – his behavior toward women for one – including that towards his adopted daughter, Dylan Farrow, who previously claimed he sexually abused her. Allen even includes a postscript about getting his book published in the first place, harshly condemning Hachette for abandoning him and his book.
“Hachette read the book and loved it despite me being toxic pariah and menace to society, they vowed to stand firm should things hit the fan. When actual flak did arrive they thoughtfully reassessed their position, concluding that perhaps courage was not the virtue it was cracked up to be and there was a lot to be said for cowering.”
The sexual abuse claims against Allen are nothing to take lightly. Mounting pressure against Hachette appears to have forced their hand. Allen said that his book “would land somewhere because you can’t keep the truth bottled up forever.” It’s questionable when he says that he has the truth, but is it really as absolute as he makes it sound?
Arcade Publishing called the book “a candid and comprehensive personal account by Woody Allen of his life, ranging from his childhood in Brooklyn through his acclaimed career in film, theater, television, print and standup comedy, as well as exploring his relationships with family and friends.”
image via adam bielawski on wikimedia commons
Jeannette Seaver, an editor who acquired the book, wanted to take a stance against the critics who condemned it. She said that part of accepting the book and publishing it was to bring voice to a respected artist rather than cooperate with those trying to silence him. Seaver made reference to Trump’s rhetoric when she said we are in “a strange time, when truth is too often dismissed as ‘fake news.'”
Publications seem to be weary of igniting huge controversies, possibly out of fear of alienating supporters or readers. Michael Pietsch, the chief executive of Hachette, originally defended the decision to publish Woody Allen’s book, but with the staged walkout of over 100 employees, the pressure led to the reversal of his plan.
People will now be able to read Allen’s autobiography as well as the news surrounding his questionable controversies and render their own verdict, according to Suzanne Nossel, the chief executive of the free-speech nonprofit PEN America, calling the situation “something of a perfect storm.” “If the end result here is that this book, regardless of its merits, disappears without a trace, readers will be denied the opportunity to read it and render their own judgements.”
featured image via colin swan on flickr
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