(UPDATED with statement from Hachette) Just over a month before an imprint of Hachette Book Group is set to publish Woody Allen’s memoir, dozens of employees of the company staged a walkout in New York City today.
With staffers emptying out of the 6th Avenue offices this afternoon, the move to the streets comes after CEO Michael Pietsch failed to pull together a town hall today. “We stand in solidarity with Ronan Farrow, Dylan Farrow and survivors of sexual assault,” the employees said in a brief and blunt statement today.
Pietsch’s planned gathering was intended to explain why Hachette’s Grand Central Publishing imprint would put out Allen’s Apropos of Nothing memoir on April 7. But Pietsch was unable to persuade senior staff to support him after Catch and Kill author Ronan Farrow’s declared earlier this week that he would no longer work with the publisher.
“We respect and understand the perspective of our employees who have decided to express their concern over the publication of this book,” said Hachette in a statement released well after the walkout had begun. “We will engage our staff in a fuller discussion about this at the earliest opportunity.”
Among the many controversies surround Oscar winner Allen are the allegations by the filmmaker’s daughter Dylan that he molested her. Allen has repeatedly denied the accusations, and notes that he was investigated by the authorities on multiple occasions and never charged. Citing the limits of those probes and the fact that a judge in 1992 called Allen’s behavior in regards to Dylan Farrow “grossly inappropriate,” Ronan Farrow has become a strong supporter of his sister.
Dylan Farrow herself took to social media as the around 70 HBG staffers went to the pavements Thursday:
— Dylan Farrow (@RealDylanFarrow) March 5, 2020
In other support, the Harper Collins UAW local sent out a tweet soon after HBG staffers went outside into the March East Coast air: “We stand in solidarity with Hachette workers. Collective action is how we hold the powerful accountable. #littlebrownwalkout”