Tag: woody allen

Nothing Could Stop Woody Allen’s New Autobiography

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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Hachette Controversy Update

You may recall our article from last week on the controversy over Hachette’s choice to publish a memoir from accused sexual abuser Woody Allen.

As of our last article, protests were merely hypothetical, but the book community did take a stand, and Hachette employees in New York and Boston even walked out in protest, according to the BBC.

Hachette’s initial reaction to objections from Allan’s own son, renown investigative journalist Ronan Farrow (see our original article for more on Farrow and his objections, as well as further background), was tepid at best, and even now, they have been reported as saying (see the BBC again), that they don’t cancel deals with authors lightly. Then again, many other publishers rejected Allen’s memoir outright, and Amazon canceled a four movie deal with the infamous director after the reemergence of abuse allegations.

The walk out, combined with apparent meetings with employees, seem to have convinced Hachette to cancel the book this week.

The memoir was set to come out in April, though announcement seems to have been delayed, and Farrow alleges the deal was hidden from him by the publisher, and the delay in announcement certainly pushed off protests, deliberately or not.

 

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Featured image via Fire

Investigative Journalist Calls Out Major Publisher Hachette

Renown Pulitzer Prize-winning investigative reporter and author of Catch and Kill, Ronan Farrow, has cut ties with that book’s publisher, Hachette (publisher behind imprints Grand Central, Little Brown, and many more), after the imprint’s controversial decision to publish a memoir written by his father, Woody Alan, who has many allegations against him for sexual assault of his adoptive daughters, both as adults and children. Read a concise breakdown of those allegations here. Farrow says in his announcement tweet (see below) that he is disappointed, especially in light of the fact that other major publishing houses have rejected the work, citing commercial risks in the age of #metoo.

Image via @RonanFarrow on Twitter

Farrow also states that Hachette has failed to fact check Allen’s book, which is corroborated by original accuser Dylan Farrow, who has also denounced Hachette, and says she has not been contacted about the book’s contents.

Hachette’s chief executive, Michael Pietsch, is quoted as saying “our job as a publisher is to help the author achieve what they have set out to do in the creation of their book,” while apparently failing to comment on the calls from Farrow for the memoir to be heavily fact checked.

It’s not just publishers, either. Many actors have refused to work on Allen’s films, and since allegations resurfaced, some who had worked with him have apologized, several even donating the pay they received to charities combating sexual abuse, including Rebecca Hall and Timothee Chalamet, according to Indie Wire.

Farrow also says that the acquiring and publishing of his adoptive father’s memoir was hidden from him while he was working on the publication of his own book, Catch and Kill, itself an exploration of how allegations of sexual assault and abuse, such as those against his father, are suppressed by the powerful individuals at whom they are leveled.

It’s not yet clear whether this publishing decision, or Farrow’s criticism, will lead to a boycott of Hachette and it’s imprints.

 

See our update on this story here.

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Featured image via the Los Angeles Times