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S&S US to publish Pence books despite staff petition

Simon & Schuster US (S&S) will proceed with publishing two books by former US vice president Mike Pence despite a petition from staff, reports the Bookseller.

In the petition, staff call for the cancellation of Pence’s two-book deal and for an end to the distribution deal S&S US has with the conservative publisher Post Hill Press, saying the publisher had ‘chosen complicity in perpetuating white supremacy’. The petition comes after S&S US cancelled the distribution of a book by Jonathan Mattingly, a police officer involved in the death of Breonna Taylor, which is published by Post Hill.

‘Rehabilitating fascists is antithetical to the statements released by Simon & Schuster in support of AAPI/Black lives,’ the petition reads. ‘It puts all of our BIPOC, women, LGBTQ+, disabled, neurodivergent, immigrant, working-class employees, and the greater bookseller/reviewer/reading community in immediate and long-term danger and dismisses the generations of violence that have contributed to our direct oppression. Your attempts to silence us by refusing to answer questions at the town hall or even dedicate a full hour to this matter, will not work.’

The petition also calls for re-evaluations of ‘all clients, authors, distribution deals and all other financial commitments that promote white supremacist content and/or harm aforementioned marginalised communities’.

In response to the petition, S&S president and CEO Jonathan Karp said: ‘As a publisher in this polarised era, we have experienced outrage from both sides of the political divide and from different constituencies and groups. But we come to work each day to publish, not cancel, which is the most extreme decision a publisher can make, and one that runs counter to the very core of our mission to publish a diversity of voices and perspectives. We will, therefore, proceed in our publishing agreement with vice president Mike Pence.’


Category: International news