13 Reasons Why author Jay Asher expelled from writer's organization over sexual harassment claims
Jay Asher who is famous for his novel 13 Reasons Why has been expelled from the writer's group after he was accused of sexual harassment.
Hollywood's worst side is now exposed to the public. Slowly covers are being blown and women are finally taking a stand and naming their attackers, thanks to the #MeToo movement. Amidst all this, it has been reported that author Jay Asher, who is famous for his novel Thirteen Reasons Why was expelled from the Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators (SCBWI) last year after it came to the notice of the organization that the writer has violated its harassment codes.
However, the news became public only on Monday (February 12), after Jay was scrutinized by the public after School Library Journal published an article which spoke about sexual harassment in children's publishing. At the same time, SCBWI’s executive director, Lin Oliver, informed the AP about the decision of the organization with regard to Jay and the sexual assault claims.
By personally responding to the comment section of the article in which people pointed fingers at the organization for backing Jay despite the sexual harassment claims, Lin wrote, "Please understand that SCBWI can only take action on what has been reported. Two men have been reported — David Diaz and Jay Asher. Both have been expelled from the SCBWI and are not welcome as members, faculty or speakers … There is a zero-tolerance policy for harassment, there is a preponderance [of] powerful and respected women on our board, on our staff, and in our membership.”
Lin went on to further comment about the incident in an interview with Buzzfeed. She said that the complaints that were received by the organization were anonymous and by email. Upon reviewing the accusations, she said that it was a decision of the entire board that it would be in best interest of everyone if Jay was expelled from the organization.
“After we investigated, we felt that terminating his membership was the proper course of action,” she said. “We have always been really sensitive to sexual harassment issues and have a zero-tolerance policy, but clearly our policies haven’t prevented violations, so we’re taking this opportunity to take another look at our guidelines.”
However, Jay has denied being thrown out of the organization and suggests that the board had told him the emails proved nothing. “It’s very scary when you know people are just not going to believe you once you open your mouth,” he told BuzzFeed. “I feel very conflicted about it just because of what’s going on in the culture and who are supposed to be believed and who’s not.”
He also claimed that he felt as if he was “thrown under the bus” as SCBWI told him that “the emails showed nothing.” “I understand the predicament they’re in with everything going on and to want to protect themselves,” Jay continued. “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.”
Despite these reports, Netflix has confirmed that the TV show 13 reasons why season 2, which is based on the novel, will not have any changes and as planned, the production will go on.
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