13 Reasons Why author Jay Asher has responded after allegations of sexual harassment resulted in his expulsion from the Society of Children’s Book Writers.
Asher, who wrote the book before it was adapted into a hit Netflix series, was expelled from the group last year.
He was reportedly expelled after the group received a number of anonymous complaints via email, which prompted director Lin Oliver to terminate his membership.
“After we investigated, we felt that terminating his membership was the proper course of action,” Lin Oliver told BuzzFeed.
“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.”
In response, Asher claimed that it was his own decision to leave the group.
“It’s very scary when you know people are just not going to believe you once you open your mouth,” Asher told BuzzFeed.
“I feel very conflicted about it just because of what’s going on in the culture and who’s supposed to be believed and who’s not.”
He added: “I understand the predicament they’re in with everything going on and to want to protect themselves.
“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.
His removal first came to light on Sunday in the comments section of an online article titled ‘Children’s Publishing Reckons With Sexual Harassment In Its Ranks.’
13 Reasons Why first aired on Netflix in 2017 and came under fire for its depiction of suicide – with the show following the story of teenager Hannah Baker who takes her own life after being sexually harassed and assaulted by her classmates.
It has been confirmed to return for a second series.
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