Hachette Book Group has canceled Woody Allen’s forthcoming autobiography “A Propos of Nothing” after his estranged children, journalist Ronan Farrow and his sister Dylan, publicly expressed their dismay about the book.
“The decision to cancel Mr. Allen’s book was a difficult one,” said Hachette in a statement shared with CNN Business. “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.”
The publisher also said that it was committed to offering a “supportive” work environment for staff and its leadership had extensive conversations with employees before coming to the “conclusion that moving forward with publication would not be feasible.”
The book was originally slated for April 2020. Hachette will return all rights to the author, it said in the statement.
The Farrows took to social media Tuesday to share a statement about Allen’s book. Ronan Farrow’s book “Catch and Kill” was released last year by Little, Brown and Company, which is also a division of Hachette.
“I was disappointed to learn through press reports that Hachette, my publisher, acquired Woody Allen’s memoir after other major publishers refused to do so and 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,” Farrow said in a statement he tweeted Tuesday.
The New Yorker shared the Pulitzer Prize gold medal for public service in 2018 with the New York Times for stories Farrow wrote for the New Yorker about allegations of sexual harassment and assault made by multiple women against former movie producer Harvey Weinstein. (Weinstein was convicted of a criminal sex act and rape in New York last month.)
Farrow and his sister have been estranged from Allen for years because of her allegation that Allen sexually assaulted her in 1992 when she was seven years old.
Allen has consistently denied the allegation and was not charged. Investigators concluded at the time that Dylan Farrow had not been abused, according to The New York Times, which covered the custody proceedings after Allen filed for custody of his three children with Mia Farrow in 1992.
Dylan Farrow, who is now 34, also tweeted a statement expressing her feelings about the publishing deal.
“Hatchette’s publishing of Woody Allen’s memoir is deeply upsetting to me personally and an utter betrayal of my brother whose brave reporting, capitalized on by Hachette, gave voice to numerous survivors of sexual assault by powerful men,” she wrote.
Both she and her brother wrote that she was never contacted by fact checkers regarding the book.
“This provides yet another example of the profound privilege that power, money, and notoriety affords,” Dylan Farrow wrote. “Hachette’s complicity in this should be called out for what it is and they should have to answer for it.”
Ronan Farrow also indicated on Tuesday that he may part ways with the company.
“I’ve encouraged Hachette, out of respect for its readers, authors, and reputation, to conduct a thorough fact check of Woody Allen’s account, in particular any claim that implies my sister is not telling the truth,” he wrote. “I’ve also told Hachette that a publisher that would conduct itself in this way is one I can’t work with in good conscience.”
On Thursday, employees at Little, Brown and Company reportedly staged a walk-out in protest of the book.
On Friday, Ronan Farrow retweeted news that Woody Allen’s memoir was pulled. Ronan Farrow did not immediately respond to a request for comment. Dylan Farrow said in a tweet on Friday that she is “in awe and so very grateful.”
“For someone who has felt alone in my story for so long, yesterday was a profound reminder of what a difference can be made when people stand and unite together for what’s right,” she said.