The Society Of Children's Book Writers and Illustrators gave young adult author Jay Asher the boot. Asher allegedly violated their harassment code.
Violating The Code
Executive director Lin Oliver confirmed Asher's expulsion on Monday, following a ban last year that only became public recently.
"Both Jay Asher and David Diaz were found to have violated the SCBWI code of conduct in regard to harassment. Claims against them were investigated and, as a result, they are no longer members and neither will be appearing at any SCBWI events in the future," Oliver wrote in an email.
Both Asher and celebrated illustrator Diaz, who was also expelled from the organization, were frequent topics on a recent comment thread on School Library Journal. The thread sought to publicly out those accused of harassment in the industry.
Asher is most well-known for Thirteen Reasons Why, his suicide-themed first novel that was recently turned into a hit Netflix series, starring Goosebumps actor Dylan Minnette. The show was executive produced by Selena Gomez, who has come under fire for continuing to work with the disgraced filmmaker and accused pedophile, Woody Allen.
Diaz, meanwhile, is an award-winning illustrator. He won the prestigious Caldecott Medal for Illustration for 1994 book Smoky Night. Diaz has illustrated for many books over the years, including Me, Frida, and The Little Scarecrow Boy.
A Victim Of The #MeToo Movement
Asher has not provided a public statement as of yet, but recent comments to Buzzfeed suggested he felt wrongly targeted.
"It's very scary when you know people are just not going to believe you once you open your mouth. I feel very conflicted about it just because of what's going on in the culture," he said.
The Oklahoma Writers' Federation subsequently confirmed the cancelation of Asher's scheduled keynote address at its upcoming conference in May.
13 Reasons Why has attracted widespread controversy over how it handles suicide and bullying. The Netflix series examines the fallout from a classmate's suicide via the friends and enemies who, apparently, drove her to it. Netflix is slated to bring back the show for a second season but has yet to confirm a solid date.
In the wake of the #MeToo and Time's Up movements, Asher spoke out about the mistreatment of women. In the light of the allegations against him, he might be held up as another example of the hypocrisy of male celebrities alongside Aziz Ansari. Ansari was very vocal about feminism in his stand-up routines but accusations of sexual harassment which surfaced earlier this year have brought his public persona into question.