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Woody Allen memoir released by new publisher after protests

  • Published at 08:18 pm March 24th, 2020
woody allen
Hachette had canceled the launch after Allen's son Ronan Farrow denounced the book group AFP

Publisher says it would not "bow to the politically correct pressures of the modern world."

Woody Allen's controversial autobiography was released in the United States Monday, swiftly finding a new home after its original publisher pulled out after protests over abuse allegations against the filmmaker.

New York-based Arcade Publishing announced it has acquired world rights to Apropos of Nothing, saying it would not "bow to the politically correct pressures of the modern world."

"We as publishers prefer to give voice to a respected writer and filmmaker," editor Jeannette Seaver said in a statement to AFP.

Earlier this month giant publisher Hachette scrapped plans to release the book penned by Allen, 84, who has long been accused of molesting his daughter, and returned all rights to the author.

Hachette had canceled the launch after Allen's son Ronan Farrow, who is extremely critical of his father, denounced the book group, and staff staged a walkout.

Allegations that Allen molested his adopted daughter Dylan Farrow when she was seven years old in the early 1990s have dogged the Oscar-winning filmmaker for decades.

The director of "Annie Hall" and "Manhattan" was cleared of the charges, first levelled by his then-partner Mia Farrow, and has consistently denied the abuse.

But Dylan, now 34, maintains she was molested.

The unexpected announcement of the book's release Monday comes about two weeks ahead of its originally scheduled April 7 launch from Hachette's Grand Central Publishing subsidiary.

Ronan Farrow, a high-profile investigative journalist and best-selling author, led the backlash to the book. 

He has long defended Dylan, who renewed her accusations against Allen in early 2018 in the wake of the #MeToo movement against sexual harassment.

Dozens of Hachette employees in New York walked out in protest at its original plan to publish the memoir.

But some had criticized Hachette's withdrawal as censorship, including best-selling author Stephen King.

"The Hachette decision to drop the Woody Allen book makes me very uneasy. It's not him; I don't give a damn about Mr Allen. It's who gets muzzled next that worries me," he said on Twitter.

Seaver said that "while we respect Hachette's decision to choose not to publish Woody Allen's book, we choose not to take sides but rather, firmly believe in upholding the right to Freedom of Speech."

"We find it critical to hear more than one side of a story and more importantly, not to squelch a writer's right to be heard," she said.

According to The New York Times, the book contains a post-script from Allen accusing Hachette of "cowering."

"Hachette read the book and loved it and despite me being a toxic pariah and menace to society, they vowed to stand firm should things hit the fan," he wrote. 

"When actual flak did arrive they thoughtfully reassessed their position, concluding that perhaps courage was not the virtue it was cracked up to be and there was a lot to be said for cowering."

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