Thursday, June 1, 2017

My Choice to Boycott Simon & Schuster

**Update 06/05/17-- I had to go digging because Simon & Schuster has yet to release an official statement, and now I know why. I found this response from them on a comment on their Facebook page "Thank you for your comment. Our authors' opinions and comments on issues unrelated to their books are theirs alone." In other words, THEY DON'T CARE. I still with my decision to no longer review or purchase books published by them.

I don't want to get into politics, for me reading and my review blog is meant to be a fun escape from the sometimes serious cares of the world. However, since this particular issue actually involves a children's book author and the publishing industry, I wanted to share my thoughts.

As I'm sure many of you are aware, the "comedian" Kathy Griffin posted a disturbing and offensive picture to her Twitter account the other day. Of course, there was a lot of uproar over it and one author at Simon & Schuster (Ken Jennings) decided to chime in. His target for his attack ended up being that of the President's son, an innocent eleven-year-old boy, who should be completely off limits to any kind of political attack. Or any attack really. If you haven't seen his Tweet yet, here it is...


Politics aside, where is this man's empathy? Can you imagine an 11yo child sitting at home when up on the TV screen appears a picture of their father, beheaded and bloody. By all accounts, this was a very traumatic experience for the young boy. When Mr. Jennings learns that the child was upset about the photo, he takes to twitter to MOCK the child for his obvious trauma. It's disgusting. Not only has he left his offensive tweet up, but he has doubled down on his post and has issued no apology.

I took a moment to look over his twitter feed and found that this incident is not a unique one. He can be found mocking the disabled, the dead and he thinks rape is funny. And I'm sure there are many more of these sprinkled throughout his feed.  His sense of "humor" leaves a lot to be desired, I guess nothing is off limits for him.




It took me a minute to place who Jennings was, I vaguely remember him doing well on Jeopardy. I haven't thought of him since and had no idea he wrote children's books. I was stunned when I found that out yesterday, that someone who makes a living writing books for CHILDREN would openly mock a CHILD. I don't care about his political views, or his lame attempts at humor. But I have to draw the line when he abuses a child. And that's what this was... him thinking it was okay to bully an 11yo. And from what I understand, Jennings also has children, one of which is also 11yo. He should know better.

What I find most upsetting is that this man claims to be a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, a faith which teaches that we should love our fellow men and to show kindness to others and to try and become like our Savior, Jesus Christ. Mr. Jennings is not a representative of this great faith, he has not shown kindness or love for others and his disgusting treatment of an innocent child shows his low morals and character.

I know that Simon & Schuster is aware of this situation, I know they have been flooded with complaints and yet they have yet to respond. I thought for sure by this morning they would have at the very least issued some kind of statement, at most a termination of Jenning's contract. Nothing. Their lack of action leads me to believe that they approve of his behavior and must share his views. Because of this, I can no longer support their company. Their complete indifference that one of their children's authors actively bullies a child is unacceptable to me. I hope others will join me in this and not support this author or his publishing company.

4 comments:

  1. BOYCOTT, BOYCOTT !!!!!!!

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  2. What?!?! That's the same Ken Jennings?! What a shame. It's horrible that a person would do that, and especially a member of the church.

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  3. I emailed Simon and Schuster, because Ken Jennings is the antithesis of what a role model for children should be. As a children's author, his Tweets are completely inappropriate.

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  4. Agreed! Unless they release some sort of news soon, (I'll give them a grace period, supposing they're trying to decide exactly how to handle this, or exactly how to word whatever they'll say to the public on the issue) I don't know if I'll ever go back to them. You can't do these kinds of things to people and still expect them to pay you, and I don't know why so many companies these days believe you can :( This is a sad day for children's publishing

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