Simon & Schuster, the very same publishing house that just earlier this year canceled a book deal with Missouri Republican Sen. Josh Hawley (due to his “ties” with the Capitol riot), drew a big line in the sand for its “wokeness,” refusing to meet the demands of angry employees who want them to cancel the two-book deal they have with former Vice President Mike Pence.
“Simon & Schuster Chief Executive Jonathan Karp said Tuesday the publisher would proceed with a book by former Vice President Mike Pence despite objections from some of its employees, saying he wants to preserve a culture that presents different perspectives,” the Wall Street Journal said in a report published on Tuesday.
“The publisher responded to petitions being circulated by its employees internally and on social media,” the report continued. “They demanded that the company cancel Mr. Pence’s book, refrain from signing deals with other Trump administration figures, and cut off a distribution relationship with Post Hill Press, a publisher of conservative books.”
via Daily Wire:
The petition, circulated online but without visible signatories, accused Simon & Schuster of engaging in “complicity in perpetuating white supremacy by publishing Mike Pence and continuing to distribute books for Post Hill Press,” and claimed Simon & Schuster was “legitimizing bigotry” and “rehabilitating fascists” by inking a book deal with the former Vice President.
“By choosing to publish Mike Pence, Simon & Schuster is generating wealth for a central figure of a presidency that unequivocally advocated for racism, sexism, homophobia, transphobia, anti-Blackness, xenophobia, misogyny, ableism, islamophobia, antisemitism, and violence. This is not a difference of opinions; this is legitimizing bigotry,” the petition claimed.
“Rehabilitating fascists is antithetical to the statements released by Simon & Schuster in support of AAPI/Black lives. 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,” the petition went on. “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.”
Taking aim at Post Hill Press, which publishes titles marketed to conservatives, the employees accused Simon & Schuster of participating in and normalizing “violence against minors, Black women, and all Black people by individuals and the state.”
While Karp did drop plans to publish a book that was written by one of the police officers involved in the Breonna Taylor incident in Kentucky, Karp refused to bow the knee on Pence.
“Regardless of where authors sit on the ideological spectrum, or if they hold views that run counter to the belief systems held by some of us, we apply a rigorous standard to assure that in acquiring books, we will be bringing into the world works that provide new information or perspectives on events to which we otherwise might not have access,” Karp stated in his reply to the petition.
“As a publisher in this polarized era, we have experienced outrage from both sides of the political divide and from different constituencies and groups,” Karp went on to say. “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.”
“Over the last year, we have done much work to make Simon & Schuster a more open and inclusive workplace,” Karp said. “We remain focused on how we can change our culture for the better and improve our publishing programs. The conversations we’ve been having will help us evolve as a company. The pace of change may not be as fast as some of you would like, but we remain committed to progress.”
So the doors are still open for the company to be on board with canceling conservatives in the future and silencing their voices. Therefore, don’t make Karp out to be any kind of hero for free speech. He’s just seeing dollar signs with Pence.