Hachette’s quick and decisive reaction to the scandal stands in contrast to the publishing industry’s reaction to sexual harassment allegations against the former Fox News host Bill O’Reilly. Even after Mr. O’Reilly was fired by Fox, his publishing career has been largely unaffected: He released a new book in his best-selling “Killing” series last month, and promoted the book on television shows. Major book retailers like Barnes & Noble carried his latest work, “Killing England: The Brutal Struggle for American Independence,” and displayed it prominently. The book sold 65,000 hardcover copies in its first week on sale, according to NPD BookScan.
After explosive reports were published recently in The New York Times and The New Yorker detailing allegations of sexual harassment, abuse and assault against Mr. Weinstein, there were immediately signs that the Weinstein Company’s imprint might be in trouble.
The Morning Joe co-host Mika Brzezinski said that she would pull out of her three-book deal with Weinstein Books unless the company reckoned seriously with the allegations. “I want to know that this company does not embrace sexual abusers, sexual harassers,” she said on Monday on Morning Joe. “And I want to have a conversation with them before I move forward, because this is step one. Step two is having a wider conversation about the culture within an organization. That, of course, starts at the top.”