Some of Simon & Schuster’s staff are not at all happy about Mike Pence’s book deal. In fact, a number of them signed a letter demanding it be cancelled, accusing S&S of being “on the wrong side of justice” and complicit in “perpetuating white supremacy.”
Earlier this month S&S struck a two-book deal with Pence, reported to be worth between $3M and $4M, but the movement by an unknown number of S&S employees is apparently not working. Although it did pull out of a book deal with Josh Hawley due to his part in the Jan. 6th insurrection, S&S said it will not pull out of the Pence contract.
The letter claimed the former vice-president had made a career out of “discriminating against marginalized groups” including BIPOC and LGBTQA+. “By choosing to publish Mike Pence” S&S is “generating wealth for a central figure of a presidency that unequivocally advocated for racism, sexism, homophobia, transphobia, anti-Blackness, xenophobia, misogyny, ableism, islamophobia, and violence. This is not a difference of opinion; this is legitimizing bigotry.”
S&S President Jonathan Karp responded, in part, “As a publisher in this polarized era, we have experienced outrage from both sides of the political divide … 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.”
I’m surprised Pence was even able to make a two-book deal. He must be pretty popular with the evangelicals. I don’t really have anything against him at this point, but I can’t imagine wasting my time and money on two books about Mike Pence, of all people.