Employees at Simon and Schuster submitted a petition Monday demanding their company refrain from publishing books authored by former Trump administration officials after they garnered 216 internal signatures and several thousand from outside supporters.
The petition was submitted to senior executives and specifically called on the company to stop the planned publishing of former Vice President Mike Pence’s memoir, as well as not treat “the Trump administration as a ‘normal’ chapter in American history,” according to The Wall Street Journal.
“When S&S chose to sign Mike Pence, we broke the public’s trust in our editorial process, and blatantly contradicted previous public claims in support of Black and other lives made vulnerable by structural oppression,” the petition read, seemingly referencing the company’s previous statements associated with Black Lives Matter, as well as its decision not to publish a book authored by police officer Jonathan Mattingly, one of the officers involved in the shooting of Breonna Taylor.
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The petition also demanded Simon & Schuster sever ties with conservative publisher Post Hill Press, a company pushing forward with plans to publish Mattingly’s book. The petition specifically cited the company’s past publishing of Florida Congressman Matt Gaetz, who is under investigation over sex trafficking allegations. Post Hill Press publisher Anthony Ziccardi released a statement in response saying, “We’re proud of our publishing program, that’s what we’re focused on.”
Simon and Schuster’s Chief Executive, Jonathan Karp, rejected the employees demands last week in an internal letter once the company was aware the petition was circulating.
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“As a publisher in this polarized era, we have experienced outrage from both sides of the political divide and from different constituencies and groups. 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,” Karp’s letter read.