Now, however, the publishers have announced their decision to drop Allen after their staff walked out in protest. “The decision to cancel Mr. Allen’s book was a difficult one,” senior vice president of communications Sophie Cottrell said in a statement. “At HBG we take our relationships with authors very seriously, and do not cancel books lightly. We have published and will continue to publish many challenging books. As publishers, we make sure every day in our work that different voices and conflicting points of views can be heard.
“Also, as a company, we are committed to offering a stimulating, supportive and open work environment for all our staff,” Cottrell added. “Over the past few days, HBG leadership had extensive conversations with our staff and others. After listening, we came to the conclusion that moving forward with publication would not be feasible for HBG.”
Hachette have now returned all the rights to the book back to Allen.
With the controversy surrounding the filmmaker, it was suggested last year that his autobiography has been snubbed by major publishing executives who have described a potential working relationship with Allen as “toxic” in the midst of the allegations made against him.
Daphne Merkin, a writer and longtime friend of Allen, told the New York Times that Allen had spent years working on the memoir which he has now completed: “He’s not one to set the record straight, but presumably, the memoir is his side of things,” said Merkin. “He’s the kind of person who soldiers on, and someone whose work is his nutrient. Whatever vicissitudes he’s been exposed to, I think he keeps his own counsel about how all this affects and doesn’t affect him.”
The publisher has confirmed that the book will be released in France, Germany, Italy and Spain this spring, followed by countries around the world.