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Has Woody Allen’s Time Come?

March 9, 2020 | Posted by Steve Gustafson
To Rome with Love Woody Allen

The Hachette Book Group announced last Monday that it would release Apropos of Nothing, a memoir by Woody Allen, in early April. CEO Michael Pietsch told an interviewer that the publisher “believes strongly that there’s a large audience that wants to hear the story of Woody Allen’s life as told by Woody Allen himself.”

Not so fast. 

After protests from Allen’s estranged children, Ronan and Dylan Farrow, as well as a coordiated walk out by the publishing house’s staff members during a Thursday demonstration in New York, Hachette dropped their plans on Friday to release the book.

Hachette’s statement read: “The decision to cancel Mr. Allen’s book was 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. As publishers, we make sure every day in our work that different voices and conflicting points of views can be heard. Also, as a company, we are committed to offering a stimulating, supportive and open work environment for all our staff. 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.”

Following the decision, Farrow shared her thoughts on social media: “To each and every individual who, at great professional risk to themselves, stood in solidarity with my brother, myself, and all victims of sexual abuse yesterday: words will never describe the debt of gratitude I owe to you.”

As expected, a number of members of the film, publishing, and literary communities went online to voice their opinions with author Stephen King tweeting he was “uneasy” over the cancellation announcement. “The Hachette decision to drop the Woody Allen book makes me very uneasy. It’s not him; I don’t give a damn about Mr. Allen. It’s who gets muzzled next that worries me,” King tweeted.

Reaction was split on King’s comments. His main point being the subject of censorship, regardless of you thoughts on Allen as a director and the accusations of child molestation that have followed him for years. The book was said to be an intensive look into Allen’s life and career, including insight on his professional and personal relationships.

The New York Post called the actions a results of “cancel culture” while others applauded the move by Hachette, calling it a win in stopping someone from rewriting history. What are your thoughts and do you think the book will ever be released?

article topics :

Woody Allen, Steve Gustafson