Pop culture obsessives writing for the pop culture obsessed.
Pop culture obsessives writing for the pop culture obsessed.

Simon & Schuster no longer bound to former book deal with Senator Josh Hawley

Senator Josh Hawley
A man with one less book deal.
Photo: congress.gov via Getty Images (Getty Images)

We are not ones to typically quote Kim Kardashian, but we’ll gladly paraphrase her here: It’s what he deserves.

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Per The New York Times, publisher Simon & Schuster has decided to cancel an upcoming book with Missouri senator Josh Hawley after the Republican congressman opted to challenge the ratification of the election results. Hawley has been accused of being one of the pro-Trump officials who essentially incited Wednesday’s insurgence at the Capitol through his continued complicity with white supremacy. His book, The Tyranny Of Big Tech, was due to be released in July.

“We did not come to this decision lightly,” Simon & Schuster said in a statement to NYT. “As a publisher it will always be our mission to amplify a variety of voices and viewpoints: at the same time we take seriously our larger public responsibility as citizens, and cannot support Senator Hawley after his role in what became a dangerous threat.” Hawley made a statement in response to the publisher, signaling “cancel culture” and threatening to take the company to court.

Simon & Schuster has published a number of books from conservative authors before—including Sean Hannity and Tucker Carlson—but an attempted coup certainly adds a new layer of context. Also, the company likely wanted to avoid immense public pressure, which has led to a number of failed deals in the past: In 2017, Simon & Schuster cancelled a book from conservative shill Milo Yiannopoulos after public outcry reached a fever pitch. Last year, its imprint Hachette dropped its relationship with filmmaker Woody Allen amid the staff’s protest of the then-impending release. Another publisher could potentially snap up Hawley’s book, along with the deals of any other departing politician that may face the same result. (It’s pretty typical for publishers to await the nonpartisan exodus in time for later releases—even if the book isn’t necessarily tied to their time in office, as is the case with Hawley.) But now (!), Simon & Schuster seems to be drawing somewhat of a line.

How does that old saying go? “Play exceedingly dangerous games that threaten our democracy, when fitting prizes?” Eh, we’ll look it up later.