Bestselling Author Fired for Mocking Publisher’s Diversity Policy

Breitbart London: Publishing giant Penguin Random House has announced that its authors are no longer to be chosen on literary merit but according to a politically correct quota system “taking into account ethnicity, gender, sexuality, social mobility and disability”.

This is mad, stupid, and insulting. But not nearly as mad, stupid, and insulting as the decision by the Mslexia Short Story Prize, a literary competition for women authors, to sack one of its judges Lionel Shriver as a punishment for daring to criticise the new policy.

Shriver (who, despite her misleading first name, is a woman) is the American-born, UK-resident novelist best known for her bestseller We Need To Talk About Kevin.

She also has a column in the Spectator which this week she used to mock Penguin Random House’s new diversity policy.

It begins:

I’d been suffering under the misguided illusion that the purpose of mainstream publishers like Penguin Random House was to sell and promote fine writing. A colleague’s forwarded email has set me straight. Sent to a literary agent, presumably this letter was also fired off to the agents of the entire Penguin Random House stable. The email cites the publisher’s ‘new company-wide goal’: for ‘both our new hires and the authors we acquire to reflect UK society by 2025.’ (Gotta love that shouty boldface.) ‘This means we want our authors and new colleagues to reflect the UK population taking into account ethnicity, gender, sexuality, social mobility and disability.’ The email proudly proclaims that the company has removed ‘the need for a university degree from nearly all our jobs’ — which, if my manuscript were being copy-edited and proof-read by folks whose university-educated predecessors already exhibited horrifyingly weak grammar and punctuation, I would find alarming.

Then she really gets going

13 Comments on Bestselling Author Fired for Mocking Publisher’s Diversity Policy

  1. The ‘Minority Mafia’ has been dominating publishing for three decades now. They’re trying to present it like it’s something new so I am suspicious. To me this sounds like Penguin is actually making a move to totally, 100% eliminate white male authors and this is a set-up jab before the overhand right.

    As early as the late eighties, any minority writer could put ANYTHING on paper and it was seen as ‘authentic’ or ‘gritty’ or ‘so real.’ Here’s a poem from Native American Sherman Alexie (private schools, Pac Ten undergrad, famous by 20, who was of course, mistreated by the USA)

    —-Hey, Indian boy, why (why!) did you slice off your braids?
    Do you grieve their loss? Have you thought twice about your braids?

    With that long, black hair, you looked overtly Indian.
    If vanity equals vice, then does vice equal braids?

    Are you warrior-pretend? Are you horseback-never?
    Was your drum-less, drum-less life disguised by your braids?

    Hey, Indian boy, why (why!) did you slice off your braids?
    You have school-age kids, so did head lice invade your braids?

    Were the scissors impulsive or inevitable?
    Did you arrive home and say, “Surprise, I cut my braids”?

    Do you miss the strange women who loved to touch your hair?
    Do you miss being eroticized because of your braids?

    Hey, Indian boy, why (why!) did you slice off your braids?
    Did you weep or laugh when you said goodbye to your braids?

    Did you donate your hair for somebody’s chemo wig?
    Is there a cancer kid who thrives because of your braids?

    Did you, peace chief, give your hair to an orphaned sparrow?
    Is there a bald eagle that flies because of your braids?

    Hey, Indian boy, why (why!) did you slice off your braids?
    Was it worth it? Did you profit? What’s the price of braids?

    Did you cut your hair after your sister’s funeral?
    Was it self-flagellation? Did you chastise your braids?

    Has your tribe and clan cut-hair-mourned since their creation?
    Did you, ceremony-dumb, improvise with your braids?

    Hey, Indian boy, why (why!) did you slice off your braids?
    Was it a violent act? Did you despise your braids?

    Did you cut your hair after booze murdered your father?
    When he was buried, did you baptize him with your braids?

    Did you weave your hair with your siblings’ and mother’s hair,
    And pray that your father grave-awakes and climbs your braids?—

    Ridiculous. He’s internationally renowned for that kind of childish crap.

  2. This is basically the Tommy Robinson treatment applied in the literary and publishing world. The most important thing is to push demographic equalization throughout every institution regardless of consequences. If this means that lousy authors are published after being edited by incompetent editors, so be it. The main thing is that a minority is published and a minority is an editor. If this means that the publishing house fails, so be it. Literacy is just a form of white hetero male oppression anyway.

  3. I see Penguin being out of business by 2025 because they will still need people who will pay for that crap, and the people they will be catering too don’t read much.

  4. The good news is these ridiculous policies will soon bankrupt Penguin Publishing . The bad news is many good people will be unemployed. But it’s 2018, so who needs publishing companies. Besides, with the education system we have, illiteracy will be the norm by 2025.

  5. @Tony R – publishing companies are no longer needed. I just published a book without one, and even writers who have gone the traditional route in the past are moving to self-publishing – full control, better royalties, and much quicker to market.

  6. Cease all aid, military and financial to England impose oppressive tariffs on everything they import to America and restrict air travel. That should send a message.

  7. Their book sales will plummet, they will have authors who can’t write, pilots w.ho can’t fly,
    doctor’s who do’t know anatomy, what could possibly go rngwo?

  8. “books” and “literary” papers/stuff are out of fashion – it’s all internet and tweets, fb and posts, in 148 character strings.

    So bug off.

    It means I can always self-publish my books but only to cis, male dominated/ oriented misogynist preachers who only read my version of the Bible.

    Pulp Fiction II (post-modern movie) plot: “Relevance, we don’t need no stinking relevance.”

  9. @Westray,
    Sherman Alexie really hates White people and thinks that Mexicans and Indians should band together and drive out the whiteman from the western United States.
    He’s also prescribed reading in most junior high schools, high schools, and community colleges.
    I hope he returns to alcoholism soon.


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