Publisher Won't Kowtow to Staff and Cancel Pence Memoir

Simon & Schuster president says 'we will proceed'
By Kate Seamons,  Newser Staff
Posted Apr 21, 2021 12:57 PM CDT
Publisher Won't Kowtow to Staff and Cancel Pence Memoir
Mike Pence speaks during a memorial service for the late Air Force Brig. Gen. Chuck Yeager in Charleston, W. Va., on Jan. 15, 2021.   (AP Photo/Chris Jackson, File)

Some Simon & Schuster employees don't want to see their employer move ahead with its two-book deal with Mike Pence, but their consternation apparently won't get them anywhere. The Guardian reports Simon & Schuster president Jonathan Karp replied to his staff's open letter calling for cancellation of the deal by asserting that "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." Karp spelled it out: "We will, therefore, proceed in our publishing agreement with Vice President Mike Pence." The staffers asked that the publisher not strike deals with other members of the Trump administration figures and end its distribution relationship with Post Hill Press. (Simon & Schuster did recently decline to distribute a Post Hill book written by one of the officers involved in the fatal Breonna Taylor raid.)

The staffers behind the letter—neither the number of staffers who signed nor their names are publicly visible—argued the the company had "chosen complicity in perpetuating white supremacy" by inking the deal with Pence on April 7. They accused the company of "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." The Hill has this line from Karp's response: "For those who think some of our titles are a step backward, let’s appreciate the many Simon & Schuster books that are taking us two steps forward. Let's also acknowledge that we don’t agree on which titles are taking us forward and backward!" (More Simon & Schuster stories.)

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