Author Jay Asher, whose New York Times best-seller novel ’13 Reasons Why’ was later turned into a Netflix series, has been expelled over harassment claims from a writers organization.
Almost a year after the sacking took place, the executive director of Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators (SCBWI), a writing organization, has now revealed that it expelled Author Jay Asher after the Author violated the organization’s harassment code.
The news has come after a ‘School Library Journal article’ highlighted the allegations of sexual misconduct against illustrators and writers. The article mainly revolved around describing allegations of misconduct against David Diaz (Smoky Night) and Guiseppe Castellano, who is the executive art director at Penguin Workshop.
Once the article was published, its comments section received torrents of comments from anonymous persons urging the writer to include the name of Jay Asher on the list. So furious was the reaction that Lin Oliver, the executive director of SCBWI, was forced to answer the comments.
In the response, which was published on Sunday night, the main focus of Oliver was to address allegations that SCBWI was apparently backing Asher. “Please understand that SCBWI can only take action on what has been reported,’’ she said, before dropping the bombshell. ‘’ Two men have been reported — David Diaz and Jay Asher,”
She then announced that both these members were expelled last year, which means they are not allowed to even become members of the writing organization, let alone as its faculty or speakers on the events that it organizes.
Further explaining the reasoning behind the organization’s decision to expel Asher, Oliver told Buzzfeed that the majority of the complaints against Asher were sent by anonymous persons via Email. Defending the organization’s decision to terminate Asher’s membership of SCBWI, she claimed that proper investigation was done and only afterwards was the decision taken.
As for Asher, he denies being expelled by SCBWI in an interview to Buzzfeed. The famed author further claimed SCBWI told him that the ‘emails showed nothing’, while also claiming that he felt that he felt that he was being ‘thrown under the bus’.
Asher’s ‘Thirteen Reasons Why’, a novel which has sold more than three million copies over the last decade, has generated both controversy and fame. Its detractors claim that the novel is dangerous as it depicts the approach to suiciding.