On Stephen King, privilege, and douchery

No - nor are they inherently conjoined.


I split off this topic because people requested it; i wasn’t planning to participate in it.

But the argument, as I understand it, is this: Hachette has the right to decide who they do business with, according to whatever ethical principles they hold. Because many of their employees objected to the release of Allen’s book, the company elected to cease publication of the memoir.

I don’t feel I’m informed enough on this to say more at this point.


Heh. I agree that he should put it out on amazon self-published.

I’m sure that the reviews would be worth it.


Much of what Farrow’s publisher required of Ronan Farrow-- in terms of fact checking had very little to do with ethics, and a lot more with being a great defense strategy against potential libel. Does Farrow think that Allen’s book is libelous?

The one ethical bound that might be breached is that Farrow’s book and Allen’s book potentially contradict each other. And if Farrow is prevented by corporate from speaking against Woody Allen, as he is wont to do, that could be a conflict of interest. (An artifact of consolidation and oligopoly in the book industry.)

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Worked for The Martian.

Doesn’t seem to be working for the Milo.


But that’s not an ethical argument against Allen’s book.

It’s an argument of a hypothetical conflict of interest should some hypothetical action occur that can’t occur as they’re not publishing Allen’s book.


And thank you for that.

The Misogyny thread is important and doesn’t need to be muddied up with the usual logical fallacies, unhelpful interjections by false allies, and the intentionally tone deaf commentary of folks that would rather talk about anything and everything BUT the actual problems at hand.

On this actual topic:

Woody Allen is still an old rich White dude with power who will be just fucking fine and dandy, even if his ego-stroking book never gets published… but we all know it will be, eventually.

And while he’s an author whose work I like, Stephen King is also an ‘old rich White dude with power’ who needs to take a good hard look at his own privilege.


Ethics is all about contemplating hypotheticals beforehand in order to resist the temptation of doing harm, even in the face of lucrative rewards.

“We do not publish the unsavoury” has never been a guiding principal of the book industry. But “Rejected manuscripts are returned to the author, and not shared with any other potentially competing authors” generally is.

So, when Farrow claims that Hachette is violating some ethical norm, he should either put up, or shut up. The role of ethics is to make things clearer, not to insinuate.

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Ah - Farrow - that would be a third thread then.


It really would, as the actual topic of this thread is ‘King, Allen and White Male Privilege.’

“Ronan Farrow shouldn’t talk shit if he can’t back it up!” is not.



And the publisher didn’t cite Farrow over declining to publish.


Companies are allowed to choose the parties with whom they do business; and this one time, the company in question actually listened to the complaints and concerns of its’ employees regarding a poor choice.


And really- at 72 and 84 respectively for King and Allen - they’re not worried about running out of cash and having to rely on their social insecurity.


The employees of Hachette did.

Yes, they did.


His technique is more or less like writing by genetic algorithm.

  1. Write a lot, like a drunken monkey flinging poop and seeing what sticks.
  2. Take the best of what sticks and discard the rest.
  3. Mate parts of the best together in weird ways, producing more fucktons of output.
  4. Repeat steps 2 and 3 until convergence is achieved.

This is a technique only the most prolific of authors can attempt, and only then if they have an audience. But it’s also bound to result in some pretty weird mutations. It also does not converge to formula as much as it converges to a collection of tropes. This is preferable, because when you read formula, you’re like “holy shit this guy only has one story” and you never read him again. With frameworks of tropes, you can tell how the story will feel, but the plot and characters will be different enough where you won’t feel like you’ve read the exact same thing before.

Not that there’s anything wrong with that.



Quite true. What I meant was to say that “cancel culture” is not something that affects these men, and if such a thing exists, it’s online backbiting aimed at people who mostly haven’t done anything bad.

I agree that there’s definitely an intentional movement trying to silence the voices of the disenfranchised and histrionically persecuted, (‘chilling effect,’ anyone?) but the term ‘cancel culture’ got co-opted by the aforementioned rich white dudes with power and their ardent defenders, rendering it basically meaningless.


If I were to take a zero tolerance stance on cancel culture, I’d still say “cancel culture” isn’t really about canceling anything. Nobody is really saying that Louis CK, for example, should go away for good and never come back, full stop, end of story, for any reason. We’re just saying that he should atone for his past behavior and earn our forgiveness before things can be “back to normal”, whatever normal is. He clearly has not only not earned our forgiveness, but hasn’t even tried. His past behavior has also corrupted my view of his earlier work. I no longer think his earlier work is exaggerated for comic effect, but instead I think “eww, he’s serious” and can’t watch any further. If I can’t watch his stuff because it feels gross now, and don’t want him back because I feel like he hasn’t earned it, that’s not cancel culture. It’s not vindictive. I don’t want to see him out on the street or see his family suffering or anything like that. It’s more like i can’t stomach this weirdo anymore and don’t think he is entitled to a platform.

But people would give him a platform anyway. Not the case for other performers and writers, who are basically viewed as outside the mainstream because of their gender, sexuality, ethnicity etc alone.* They aren’t given a fair share at all, and have to debase themselves to get ahead. I’m not even using “debase” lightly, because that’s exactly what they’re doing. Nobody is giving them a platform, and if anything, they are taking away a platform that is rightfully theirs. The Louis CKs of the world will always have a platform, whether we want them to or not.

*yes, I know Louis CK is Latino, technically, but he looks white, minimizes his Latino background, and is waaaaay more of a generic (white) comedian than a “Latino” comedian.

Why is it that certain people always believe the alleged perpetrator out of hand, but demand the alleged victim “back it up”?

I’m not saying we should blindly believe every accusation, but it shouldn’t always fall on the victim every damn time. Especially when we’ve been hearing about this exact same shit with the exact same people for 25 years and it would require suspension of disbelief for me to believe Woody Allen is innocent. Even if he somehow didn’t commit any crimes, it would take flat out lying to myself to believe Allen isn’t a massive scumbag.