Bestselling author Jay Asher, the writer of the lauded YA novel “Thirteen Reasons Why,” which recently spawned the hit Netflix series “13 Reasons Why,” was expelled from the Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators last year after allegations of sexual harassment, BuzzFeed News reports.
Per BuzzFeed News, “the SCBWI is a nonprofit literary organization that supports authors and illustrators of children’s and young adult books by giving awards, hosting events, and publishing resources.” SCBWI executive director Lin Oliver told the outlet that “Asher was expelled from the SCBWI after the organization received anonymous complaints by email, though she would not specify how many or when specifically he was removed.”
Although Oliver would not get into details, she did tell the outlet that “after we investigated, we felt that terminating his membership was the proper course of action.”
In speaking with BuzzFeed News earlier this week, Asher said that he left the organization on his own, after being harassed by the same people who reportedly accused him of harassment. “The truth is that I had been harassed by these people for close to 10 years,” Asher told the outlet. “And I just could not deal with it anymore.”
He added, “I understand the predicament they’re in with everything going on and to want to protect themselves. I love the organization, but they didn’t decide to push me out. It was my decision, even though [Oliver] said the email contained nothing that their organization should have anything to do with.”
Although Asher’s departure from the group happened sometime last year, BuzzFeed News reports that the news was only revealed over the weekend “in the comments section of an article published in the School Library Journal titled ‘Children’s Publishing Reckons With Sexual Harassment in Its Ranks.’ The article was published on Jan. 3, but many people took to the comments section in February to anonymously accuse a number of children’s authors of sexual harassment and misconduct, Jay Asher being one of them.”
Oliver told BuzzFeed News that while there have been systems in place for people to report harassment to the SCBWI, “the organization will also be updating their …read more