Books

Publisher Cancels Woody Allen’s Memoir After Employee Walkout

A closeup of Woody Allen.
Woody Allen at the Scala Opera House in Milan on July 2. Miguel Medina/Getty Images

Hachette Book Group announced Friday that it will not publish Woody Allen’s memoir, Apropos of Nothing, after all. The news comes just one day after a walkout at the company by dozens of employees who demanded that Hachette cancel the book because of allegations that Allen sexually abused Dylan Farrow as a child. (Allen has repeatedly denied those allegations.) Ronan Farrow said he would cut ties with Hachette, which had also published his bestseller Catch and Kill, calling the publisher’s decision to sell Apropos of Nothing “wildly unprofessional” and demonstrating “a lack of ethics and compassion for victims of sexual abuse.” It’s unclear whether the memoir’s cancellation will change Farrow’s mind.

“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,” Hachette said in a statement. “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 had reportedly tried to sell the book to other publishers before Hachette but did not receive any offers. The book’s publication had been scheduled for April 7. Now, according to the statement, Hachette will return the rights back to Allen. Last year, Allen sued Amazon for $68 million for shelving his movie A Rainy Day in New York and terminating his contract over the same allegations that caused the uproar within Hachette. That lawsuit was settled for an undisclosed amount in November.