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Stephen King Jumps Into the Woody Allen/Hachette Dispute for No Good Reason

Not everyone is entitled to a book deal, Steve.

American author Stephen King poses for photographers on November 13, 2013 in Paris, before a book signing event dedicated to the release of his new book "Doctor Sleep", the sequel to his 1977 novel "The Shining". The best-selling author has written over 50 novels and sold 350 million copies worldwide. AFP PHOTO / KENZO TRIBOUILLARD (Photo credit should read KENZO TRIBOUILLARD/AFP via Getty Images)


Stephen King is often a welcome and witty voice in the Twitterverse. But he missed the mark this week when he decided give us his two cents on the controversy surrounding Hachette Book Group and Woody Allen.

Last week, Ronan Farrow called out Hachette Book Group, who published his bestselling takedown of Harvey Weinstein (among others) Catch and Kill, after it was announced that HBG would be publishing the memoirs of his estranged father Woody Allen.

It was an announcement that felt especially hypocritical, to publish the autobiography of an accused sexual predator while still enjoying the critical and commercial success of Farrow’s bombshell exposé. And HBG’s employees agreed when they staged a walkout to protest Allen’s book. Thanks to the protest and the online discourse, HBG has reversed course and canceled the book.

But now, many folks on Twitter are playing devil’s advocate and equating Allen’s book cancellation with censorship. It’s a bizarre case of false equivalency, and one that was shared by author Joyce Carol Oates.

To what end? To the end that serial rapists and abusers not be given truckloads of money to tell their stories? The idea that there’s a slippery slope regarding the treatment those accused of sexual abuse is truly puzzling. Like, is this really the hill you’re going to die on? Allen is going to be FINE. He is a millionaire and an internationally celebrated filmmaker. And he will likely continue to be until his death.

The loss of a lucrative book deal is not akin to censorship. It’s nowhere near close. And in a world where “cancel culture” sees predators welcomed back into society on a regular basis, forgive me if I don’t bemoan Allen losing a publishing deal. King even doubled down on his statement.

King later clarified his viewpoint, saying that if people don’t like Allen, they can simply not pay to see/hear/read him. But that’s not how celebrity works, sir.

Many people called out King on Twitter, and the entire bad faith argument that canceling a book deal is somehow an attack on alleged sexual predators. And even if it was … that’s not a bad thing. The world will keep on spinning with one less book by Woody Allen.

King also came under fire recently for his comments about diversity and the 2020 Oscars. At the end of the day, King’s perspective is skewed thanks to his privilege as a straight cis white man of a certain generation, and as a bestselling multi-millionaire. It’s endlessly frustrating to see King, clearly a smart man, repeatedly tweet things like this. He should know and do better.

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Chelsea was born and raised in New Orleans, which explains her affinity for cheesy grits and Britney Spears. She currently lives in sunny Los Angeles, with her husband and two poorly behaved rescue dogs. She is a former roller derby girl and a black belt in Judo, so she is not to be trifled with. She loves the word “Jewess” and wishes more people used it to describe her.