Publisher Says Not Right Now To Censorship

After a truly disturbing display of political censorship in the past year, Simon & Schuster Chief Executive Jonathan Karp this week drew a sort of line in the sand.

One would expect a book by former Vice President Mike Pence to be the equivalent of processed cereal but that didn’t stop 216 employees at the nation’s third largest publisher from demanding the company refrain from publishing Pence’s memoir.

In an online petition, they call Pence “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.”

They forgot to mention that Pence also is the guy who refused to unilaterally halt the certification of electors in the 2020 election, thus earning him the enmity of his boss, GOP President Donald Trump. (It might be interesting to hear Pence’s views on this defining moment?)

In the petition, “Solidarity With the Workforce of Simon and Schuster,” the signers demand S&S cancel any more book deals with former members of the Trump administration. The Wall Street Journal says the petition signers represent about 14% of the S&S workforce.

Delicate Political Situation?

Karp states in an internal letter that S&S’s won’t cancel Pence’s book deal because its core mission includes publishing “a diversity of voices and perspectives.”

However, S&S is owned by ViacommCBS, which finds itself in a delicate situation right now.

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