Dozens of Hachette Book Group Employees Stage Walkout to Protest Woody Allen Memoir

Grand Central Publishing is scheduled to publish Allen’s autobiography in April

Last Updated: March 5, 2020 @ 3:38 PM

Dozens of employees at Hachette Book Group staged a walkout on Friday to protest Hachette imprint Grand Central Publishing’s recent acquisition of Woody Allen’s autobiography “Apropos of Nothing.”

The exact number of staffers who joined in the demonstration in New York City was not known, though one observer pegged the number as being over 75.

“We respect and understand the perspective of our employees who have decided to express their concern over the publication of this book,” Michael Pietsch, CEO of Hachette Book Group, said in a statement sent to TheWrap. “We will engage our staff in a fuller discussion about this at the earliest opportunity.”

Grand Central Publishing announced on Monday that it had acquired the world rights for Allen’s book and would be publishing it in the U.S. on April 7. But Allen’s book had previously struggled to find a publisher; last year, the New York Times reported that executives at four of the major publishing houses turned down the book in light of allegations that Allen had molested his daughter Dylan Farrow several years ago. (Allen has repeatedly denied the accusation.)

Grand Central’s acquisition of the autobiography drew strong criticism from both Dylan and Ronan Farrow. (Ronan Farrow’s own book, “Catch and Kill,” was published by a different Hachette imprint.)

“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,” Farrow tweeted on Tuesday. “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.”

“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 continued. “I’ve also told Hachette that a publisher that would conduct itself this way is one I can’t work with in good conscience.”

In response to the employee walkout, Dylan Farrow tweeted that she was “unbelievably overwhelmed and so incredibly grateful for the solidarity demonstrated by” the Hachette employees.

“From the bottom of my heart, thank you,” Farrow wrote.