Following widespread backlash, Simon & Schuster said Thursday night that it will no longer be involved in the distribution of an upcoming book written by one of the Louisville, Kentucky, police officers who participated in the deadly raid that killed Breonna Taylor last spring.
Simon & Schuster also said it had no knowledge that Sgt. Jonathan Mattingly’s book, which was acquired by the independent publisher Post Hill Press that has a distribution deal with S&S, prior to its announcement earlier in the day.
“Like much of the American public, Simon & Schuster learned of plans by distribution client Post Hill Press to publish a book by Jonathan Mattingly. We have subsequently decided not to be involved in the distribution of this book,” the company said in a statement Thursday night.
— Simon & Schuster (@simonschuster) April 16, 2021
Sgt. Jonathan Mattingly, one of the three Louisville cops who participated in the no-knock raid of Taylor’s apartment in March 2020, is writing the book, which will be called “The Fight For Truth: The Inside Story Behind the Breonna Taylor Tragedy,” according to the Louisville Courier-Journal.
Post Hill Press specializes in “conservative political books,” according to its website, and has previously published books by Rep. Matt Gaetz, who is currently being investigated on suspicion of sex trafficking and various forms of corruption, as well as right-wing figures like Dan Bongino and Laura Loomer.
Post Hill Press did not immediately respond to TheWrap’s request for comment. Before deciding to withdraw from distributing the book, Simon & Schuster said in a statement: “The editorial and publishing decision of our distribution clients are theirs and theirs alone, and are made independently of Simon & Schuster. Per our agreements with them we are unable to pick and choose which titles on their list to distribute.”
Simon & Schuster is just one of many publishers recently to experience severe backlash after wading into contentious culture war issues, particularly when it comes to presenting the views of people either perceived us, or proved to be, the party in the wrong. For just one example, Woody Allen’s memoir, “Apropos of Nothing,” which was dropped by Hachette Book Group in early 2020 after dozens of company staged a protest walkout after the the company acquired the book.
Similarly, after Missouri Senator Josh Hawley became prominently involved in the events leading to the deadly, seditious Jan. 6 Capitol riot — including expressing support for the crowd that would later storm the Capitol in an attempt to overthrow the U.S. government — his book deal was dropped by… Simon & Schuster.