Hachette Employees Stage Walkout Over Woody Allen Memoir

Woody Allen San Sebastian - Getty - H 2019
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The protest follows Ronan Farrow stating he would no longer work with the publisher, while pushing the company to fact-check Allen's memoir.

Hachette Book Group employees from multiple imprints staged a walk-out on Thursday in protest against its decision to publish Woody Allen's upcoming memoir. 

"We respect and understand the perspective of our employees who have decided to express their concern over the publication of this book. We will engage our staff in a fuller discussion about this at the earliest opportunity," Hachette Book Group told The Hollywood Reporter.

A tweet with a photo from the walk-out stated 75 employees had left offices so far. Harper Collins Union tweeted it stands in solidarity with Hachette employees, writing "collective action is how we hold the powerful accountable."

Grand Central Publishing, an imprint of Hachette, on Monday announced that it would release Allen's forthcoming memoir Apropos of Nothing on April 7. Following the announcement, Ronan Farrow stated he would be ending his relationship with Hachette, after having previously worked with the publisher on his book Catch and Kill

Farrow, Allen's son, has repeatedly stated he believes his sister Dylan Farrow's allegations that the filmmaker sexually abused her as a child.

Of the walkout, Dylan took to Twitter to thank those who demonstrated solidarity. "Unbelievably overwhelmed and so incredibly grateful for the solidarity demonstrated by @HachetteUS and @littlebrown employees today. From the bottom of my heart, thank you," she tweeted. 

"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," the investigative reporter tweeted Tuesday. Later in the statement, he said he told the publisher he couldn't work with the company "in good conscience" any longer.

Farrow continued in his tweet that Hachette did not fact-check the book. "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," he wrote. "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."

Farrow ended his statement by stating he would no longer work with the publisher and encouraged Hachette to fact-check Allen's account. 

THR has reached out to Hachette and its imprints for comment.

Dylan Farrow also issued a statement Tuesday on Twitter, writing that Hachette's decision is "deeply upsetting to me personally and an utter betrayal of my brother." She also pointed to a discrepancy between the lack of fact-checking of Allen's memoir and the "endless scrutiny" and "extensive fact-checking" hers has undergone before ever being published. "Hachette's complicity in this should be called out for what it is and they should have to answer for it," she added.

In Catch and Kill, released by Hachette's Little, Brown and Company, Farrow details his initial reluctance to fully engage with or speak out publicly regarding his sister's longtime allegations about their father. The reporter broke his silence in a 2016 guest column in THR, writing, "I believe my sister. This was always true as a brother who trusted her, and, even at 5 years old, was troubled by our father's strange behavior around her."