Woody Allen Memoir Canceled by Publisher After Outrage and Staff Walkouts

Woody Allen’s upcoming memoir “Apropos of Nothing” has been dropped by book publisher Hachette. The company had scheduled the book for an April 7 release, but this week’s announcement of the memoir’s distribution was met with widespread outrage. Allen remains a controversial figure due to a child molestation allegation made by his adopted daughter Dylan Farrow. Hachette said in a statement (via Publishers Weekly) it will not release the book and it “will return all rights to the author.”

Hachette’s statement reads: “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.”

Allen’s memoir was dropped following a week of backlash against Hachette. Dozens of company employees walked out of Hachette’s New York City offices March 5 in protest of the publisher’s decision to acquire and distribute Allen’s memoir. Dylan Farrow took to social media at the start of the week to condemn Hachette’s decision to release the book, calling the memoir “deeply unsettling” and an “utter betrayal.” Ronan Farrow issued his own response, criticizing Hachette for working on the publication of his own book “Catch and Kill” while also buying and planning to release Allen’s memoir. “Catch and Kill” goes behind the scenes of Farrow’s investigation into Harvey Weinstein’s sexual harassment and abuse.

“Hachette did not fact check the Woody Allen book,” Ronan Farrow said. “My sister Dylan has never been contacted to respond to any denial or mischaracterization of the abuse she suffered at the hands of Woody Allen, a credible allegation maintained for almost three decades, backed up by contemporaneous accounts and evidence. It’s wildly unprofessional in multiple obvious directions for Hachette to behave this way. But it also shows a lack of ethics and compassion for victims of sexual abuse, regardless of any personal connection or breach of trust here.”

“Apropos of Nothing” will now have to seek another distributor or be self-published by Allen himself if the director wants it to be released.

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