Entertainment Books Employee walkout at publisher over Woody Allen book

Employee walkout at publisher over Woody Allen book

Employees at Hachette publishing company have staged a walkout over the company's decision to release a memoir by Woody Allen. Photo: Getty
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Dozens of staff at Hachette Book Group have staged a walk-out in protest at the publishing company’s upcoming release of Woody Allen’s memoir.

“This afternoon, Grand Central Publishing employees are walking out of the Hachette New York office in protest of the publication of Woody Allen’s memoir,” the employees said in a statement posted to Twitter.

“We stand in solidarity with Ronan Farrow, Dylan Farrow and survivors of sexual assault.”

Around 75 employees of Hachette took to New York’s Rockefeller Plaza to support journalist Ronan Farrow, who severed ties with the publisher after discovering that Hachette, which published his book Catch and Kill, was releasing his estranged father’s memoir as well.


Hachette’s CEO, Michael Pietsch, tried to hold a meeting with disgruntled staff, but was rebuffed.

Ronan Farrow has stood by his sister Dylan, who accused her adoptive father Allen of sexually abusing her as a child. Allen has denied the allegations.

On Monday, Grand Central Publishing, an outlet of Hachette, announced that they would release Allen’s book, Apropos of Nothing, on April 7. The New York Times obtained Farrow’s email condemning Michael Pietsch, chief executive of Hachette, for working on Allen’s book while editing Catch and Kill.

“Your policy of editorial independence among your imprints does not relieve you of your moral and professional obligations as the publisher of Catch and Kill, and as the leader of a company being asked to assist in efforts by abusive men to whitewash their crimes,” Farrow wrote.

“Obviously I can’t in good conscience work with you any more. Imagine this were your sister.”

Dylan Farrow took to Twitter amidst the news of the walkout, saying that she was “unbelievably overwhelmed and so incredibly grateful for the solidarity demonstrated by @HachetteUS and @littlebrown employees today. From the bottom of my heart, thank you.” Little, Brown and Company, another division of Hachette, published Catch and Kill.

Farrow’s Catch and Kill subject, Harvey Weinstein, was recently convicted of rape and sexual assault, and potentially faces 29 years in prison.

-with agencies