NEW YORK (AFP) – A leading publisher on Friday (March 6) scrapped plans to release the autobiography of filmmaker Woody Allen, who has long been accused of molesting his daughter, following an outcry and a staff walkout.
Hachette's announcement came after Allen's son Ronan Farrow, who is extremely critical of his father, denounced the book group over Apropos Of Nothing, originally scheduled to hit shelves next month.
"The decision to cancel Mr Allen's book was a difficult one," a spokeswoman for Hachette said in a statement emailed to AFP, adding it would return all rights to the author.
Allegations that Allen molested his adopted daughter Dylan Farrow when she was seven years old in the early 1990s has dogged the Oscar-winning filmmaker for decades.
The 84-year-old director of Annie Hall and Manhattan was cleared of the charges, first levelled by his then-partner Mia Farrow, after two separate months-long investigations, and has consistently denied the abuse.
But Dylan, now 34, maintains she was molested.
Hachette said on Monday its Grand Central Publishing subsidiary would release Allen's memoir in the United States on April 7.
It sparked an immediate backlash with high-profile investigative journalist and best-selling author Ronan Farrow, sister of Dylan, saying on Tuesday he would no longer work with Hachette.
Ronan has long defended Dylan, who renewed her accusations against Allen in the wake of the #MeToo movement in early 2018.
On Thursday, dozens of employees in New York staged a walkout in protest at the decision to publish the memoir.
"We stand in solidarity with Ronan Farrow, Dylan Farrow, and survivors of sexual assault," the employees said in an email, Publishers Weekly reported.
The spokeswoman for Hachette said company executives had engaged in "extensive conversations" with staff and others in the past few days.
"After listening, we came to the conclusion that moving forward with publication would not be feasible for HBG," she said.
She added that the imprint does "not cancel books lightly."
Following the announcement, Dylan Farrow thanked all the employees "who took a stand."
"I'm in awe and so very grateful," she wrote on Twitter.
Ronan retweeted a post by Publishers Weekly reporting Hachette's announcement, without comment.
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