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Hachette will no longer publish Woody Allen's memoir following protests, criticism

The acquisition had been widely criticized, including from the publisher's own employees, who staged a walkout Thursday.
Image: Woody Allen at Cannes in 2016
Director Woody Allen poses for photographers Cannes international film festival in 2016.Thibault Camus / AP file

Grand Central Publishing, a division of Hachette Book Group, has announced it will no longer be publishing Woody Allen's memoir following widespread objection of the book, including from its own employees and Dylan and Ronan Farrow.

"The decision to cancel Mr. Allen’s book was a difficult one," read a statement from Hachette Book Group. "As publishers, we make sure every day in our work that different voices and conflicting points of views can be heard."

Grand Central Publishing announced the book, titled "Apropos of Nothing," Monday. The memoir, which was described as "a comprehensive account of Allen's life, both personal and professional, and describes his work in films, theater, television, nightclubs, and print" was slated to be released in April, but immediately became the subject of criticism.

Dylan Farrow lambasted the memoir authored by her adoptive father, Woody Allen — who she has accused of sexually assaulting her as a child — as "deeply upsetting" and "an utter betrayal."

"This provides yet another example of the profound privilege that power, money and notoriety affords," Farrow, 34, wrote on Twitter Monday. "Hachette’s complicity in this should be called out for what it is and they should have to answer for it.”

She added that the memoir undermined her brother's work. Ronan Farrow's reporting on disgraced Hollywood mogul and recently convicted rapist Harvey Weinstein helped launch the #MeToo movement and was detailed in "Catch and Kill," which was released by Little, Brown and Company, another Hachette imprint, last year.

Ronan Farrow responded to the announcement on Tuesday, encouraging the publisher to complete a thorough fact-check of Allen's account "out of respect" for his sister and readers. He added that he could no longer work with the publisher "in good conscience."

"It's widely unprofessional in multiple obvious directions for Hachette to behave this way," Farrow wrote. "But it also shows a lack of ethics and compassion for victims of sexual abuse, regardless of any personal connection or breach of trust her."

On Thursday employees at Grand Central Publishing and a number of Hachette Book Group's other imprints staged a walkout in protest of the memoir's acquisition.

Allen has consistently denied sexually abusing Farrow, whom he adopted with the actress Mia Farrow. Allen and Mia Farrow were in a long-term relationship until she discovered he was having an affair with her other adopted daughter, Soon-Yi Previn, when she found nude photos of Previn in Allen’s home. Allen and Previn later married.

Though a prosecutor said he had "probable cause" to prosecute Allen on charges that he had sexually assaulted Dylan Farrow, Allen was never charged. Allen did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

Allen reportedly struck a deal with Penguin to publish a memoir in 2003, but the book never materialized. Last year, he pitched a memoir again to major publishers but was met with "hard passes" because of the #MeToo movement, according to four publishers who spoke with The New York Times. Allen has written several books, most recently "Mere Anarchy," in 2007.

Hachette Book Group's cancellation of Allen's memoir, which was first reported by Publisher's Weekly, marks the latest instance of Allen facing banishment in the Me Too era. Last year, Amazon Studios backed out of a production and distribution deal with him. His film "A Rainy Day In New York" was released in Europe last year but not in the U.S. Several actors, including Colin Firth, Rachel Brosnahan and Timothée Chalamet, have said that they will no longer work with him.