Woody Allen book pulped after walkout at publisher

Woody Allen and Ronan FarrowImage copyright
Getty Images/PA Media

Image caption

Ronan Farrow supports his sister’s allegations against their father

Hachette Book Group (HBG) has cancelled plans to publish a memoir by Woody Allen, the award-winning film director who has been accused of sexual abuse.

The decision on Friday came one day after Hachette employees staged an office walkout in protest at the plan to publish the book.

It also came after Allen’s son, Ronan Farrow, spoke out against the decision.

Mr Farrow, a journalist, wrote a book for HBG last year about how powerful men avoid punishment for misconduct.

Farrow attacks publisher over Allen memoir

Mr Farrow is Allen’s son with actress Mia Farrow.

His adopted sister, Dylan Farrow, has accused Allen of sexually abusing her in 1992 when she was seven years old. He has denies the claim.

Image copyright
Getty Images

Image caption

Dylan Farrow with mother Mia in 2016

What has the publisher said?

A statement by HBG spokeswoman Sophie Cottrell called the decision to pulp Allen’s autobiography – 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 added.

She said that listening sessions had been held with staff members, which led the publisher to come “to the conclusion that moving forward with publication would not be feasible”.

The publishing house also plans to return the rights to Allen, the statement added.

How did the book controversy begin?

The book seems to have been acquired by HBG last year, but the announcement that it would be released in April only came this week.

Dylan Farrow had released a scathing statement on Monday, accusing Hachette of betraying one of their authors, her brother Ronan Farrow, whose book, 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.”

Mr Farrow also released a statement, saying that HBG had “concealed the decision from me and its own employees while we were working on Catch and Kill – a book about how powerful men, including Woody Allen, avoid accountability for sexual abuse”.

Catch and Kill tells the story of disgraced Hollywood mogul Harvey Weinstein, who was jailed for rape last month.

BBC News

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