Woody Allen's publisher has decided to cancel the planned release of his memoir Apropos of Nothing. Hachette Book Group made the announcement on Friday after days of criticism focused on historical allegations that Allen sexually abused his adopted daughter Dylan Farrow. On March 5, Hachette workers staged a walkout.
“Hachette Book Group has decided that it will not publish Woody Allen’s memoir,” said a statement. “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,” the statement continued.
“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.”
Both Dylan and Ronan Farrow have previously spoken out against the publication of Allen’s memoir, which was billed as a “comprehensive account” of his life and originally set to be released on April 7.
In his own statement, Ronan wrote that he “was disappointed to learn” about the news and claimed that Hachette “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.”
Allen has long denied the allegations, which were first reported during his explosive 1992 split from his former girlfriend. The director was not charged, though a Connecticut prosecutor said there was probable cause for a criminal case.
However, some believe that Hachette's decision to cancel the release of Allen's book is a means of censorship.
Jo Glanville of The Guardian wrote, "The staff at Hachette who walked out were not behaving like publishers, they were acting as censors. I do not check up on the moral purity or criminal record of a writer before I read them. I would have to strip my bookshelves of many of the writers I love the most if I were going to start to apply the principles of the Hachette staff."
Legendary author Stephen King said he felt "uneasy" about the decision. “The Hachette decision to drop the Woody Allen book makes me very uneasy,” the author tweeted on Friday. “It’s not him; I don’t give a damn about Mr Allen. It’s who gets muzzled next that worries me.”