Woody Allen’s publisher Hachette is dropping his controversial memoir, Apropos of Nothing.
The autobiography about Allen’s life and career was set to be released on April 7. All rights revert back to Allen as a result of the cancellation.
What Led Hachette to This Decision?
The publisher’s decision to drop the book comes after Allen’s famous son, Ronan Farrow, severed his relationship with the publisher in response to the news. Hachette published Farrow’s book Catch and Kill about the Harvey Weinstein affair.
Farrow said in a statement regarding Hachette’s decision to publish Allen’s work, “a publisher that would conduct itself in this way is one I can’t work with in good conscience”.
Allen’s son was not the only one who took issue with the publisher’s decision to publish Allen’s work. On Thursday afternoon, dozens of Hachette employees walked out in protest of the pending publication.
Farrow and the Hachette employees that chose to walk out all objected to Allen’s autobiography because of the allegations that he molested his daughter Dylan Farrow when she was a child. Dylan Farrow is Ronan Farrow’s sister.
Eventually, more than a hundred protesters gathered in front of the publisher’s offices in New York. It seems that between very publicly losing Farrow’s business and the protests, Hachette got the message.
Hachette Speaks Out
In response to all the protests, criticism, and the media attention, Hachette publishing company said in a statement to The Hollywood Reporter,
“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.”
Who knows what’s next for Woody Allen’s autobiography, but after such a strong reaction it’s unlikely that other major publishing companies will want to take on such a controversial project.