Woody Allen Memoir Released After Protests

LOS ANGELES (AFP) — Woody Allen’s autobiography was released in the United States Monday, swiftly finding a new home after its original publisher pulled out after protests due to abuse allegations against the filmmaker.

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

Woody Allen. (Invision photo via AP)

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

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

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

Allegations that Allen molested his adopted daughter Dylan Farrow when she was 7 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 leveled 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 before 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 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,” King said on Twitter.

Seaver said: “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 postscript 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.”

© Agence France-Presse

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