April 27, 2021
Employees of Simon & Schuster have delivered a petition demanding the publisher stop all deals with Trump administration officials, wherein they accuse the firm of “perpetuating white supremacy” by going forward with a book by former Vice President Mike Pence.
What are the details?
According to an exclusive report from The Wall Street Journal, Simon & Schuster CEO Jonathan Karp was aware that a petition was circulating when he announced internally last week that a memoir by Pence would move forward despite pushback from some employees.
All told, 216 Simon & Schuster employees signed the petition, which equates to roughly 14% of the company’s workforce. They also solicited the signatures of another 3,500 outsiders, some of whom were “well-known Black writers,” the newspaper wrote.
The Daily Mail later published the contents of the petition in it entirety.
The letter begins by stating:
“The events of the past week have affirmed that Simon & Schuster has chosen complicity in perpetuating white supremacy by publishing Mike Pence and continuing to distribute books for Post Hill Press, including predator Matt Gaetz’s FIREBRAND.
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 letter goes on to demand that Simon & Schuster “cancel the two-book deal with Mike Pence and do not sign any more book deals with former members of the Trump administration,” and “commit to ongoing reevaluations of all clients, authors, distribution deals, and all other financial commitments that promote white supremacist content and/or harm the aforementioned marginalized communities.”
The Journal noted the “Simon & Schuster is one of the leading publishers of political books,” and just last year published Fox News host Sean Hannity’s “Live Free or Die” and former national security adviser John Bolton’s anti-Trump book, “The Room Where It Happened: A White House Memoir.”