The announcement of a Woody Allen memoir was not meant with excitement by Hachette Book Group employees or those working at their multiple imprints. Dozens of employees across several imprints staged a walk-out earlier today to protest the release of Allen's upcoming memoir. Little, Brown and Company is one of the imprints under the Hachette umbrella. They are the publisher for Allen's estranged son Ronan Farrow's Catch and Kill book, which isn't sitting well with Farrow at the moment. Farrow has since announced that he is dropping the publisher.
Woody Allen's memoir, 'Apropos of Nothing', was just announced. The book details the director's life behind the camera, along with his personal life. At least 75 Hachette employees took to the streets this morning to protest the publisher's decision to work with Allen, who has been accused of sexual assault by his adoptive daughter Dylan Farrow.
A similar walk-out was staged when controversial political commentator Milo Yiannopoulos' book Dangerous was set to come out with Simon & Schuster. After the walkout, the publisher dropped the title and he self-published it. Hachette employees are hoping the same thing happens with Apropos of Nothing.
Hachette CEO Michael Pietsch reportedly failed to put together a promised town hall meeting for today, leading to the walk-out. Pietsch was allegedly going to explain why they felt it was okay to release Woody Allen's memoir. Employees released a short statement which reads, "We stand in solidarity with Ronan Farrow, Dylan Farrow and survivors of sexual assault." The blunt statement is really anybody needs to know about the situation. It's unclear where Hachette will go from here, especially after Ronan Farrow abruptly dropped Little, Brown and Company. Representatives have yet to respond for comment.
Dylan Farrow also released a statement bashing Hachette for putting out Woody Allen's Apropos of Nothing memoir. Farrow has claimed for years that Allen sexually assaulted her, which the director has denied a number of times. Farrow claims that the publisher never contacted her for a fact-checking session over her presence in the book. She had this to say.
"Hachette's publishing of Woody Allen's memoir is deeply unsettling 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. For the record, I was never contacted by any fact checkers to verify the information in this memoir, demonstrating an egregious abdication of Hachette's most basic responsibility. On the other hand, my story has undergone endless scrutiny and has never been published without extensive fact checking. This provides yet another example of the profound privilege that power, money, and notoriety affords. Hachette's complicity in this should be called out for what it is and they should have to answer for it."
Dylan Farrow also took some time out of her day to thank the Hachette employees for staging today's walk-out. "Unbelievably overwhelmed and so incredibly grateful for the solidarity demonstrated by Hachette and Little Brown employees today. From the bottom of my heart, thank you," she said on social media. Woody Allen has yet to respond to the walk-out and he likely will not unless Hachette axes his memoir. Deadline was the first to report on this story.