'13 Reasons Why' Author Removed From Writer's Group Over Harassment Allegations

Thirteen Reasons Why author Jay Asher was banned from a prominent literary agency last year but the news came to light with the #MeToo movement

Children's book illustrator David Diaz resigned from SCBWI in December after harassment allegations by author Ishta Mercurio.

Asher was reportedly removed from the group past year, but his banning has recently started to gain attention following an article about sexual harassment in the children's book industry that was published this week on Medium.

"The truth is that I had been harassed by these people for close to ten years", he added, "And I just could not deal with it anymore".

'During the past decade of harassment related to these affairs, I have never once retaliated.

Asher also spoke with BuzzFeed saying, "it's very scary when you know people are just not going to believe you once you open your mouth".

Though he was banned from the organization previous year, this is all coming to light now in part due to the #MeToo movement.

Asher told BuzzFeed News on Monday that he left voluntarily and felt that he had been 'thrown under the bus'.

New Times obtained a formal complaint that was sent to the book writers' organization and its executive director, Lin Oliver, in spring of 2017 complaining of Asher's conduct. "We did so and Mr. Asher has agreed not to attend SCBWI events for the indefinite future". "This letter's goal is not one of vengeance, but rather to make the leadership aware of how Mr. Asher is using SCBWI to lure women into friendships and then affairs", the letter states. "I love the organisation, but they didn't decide to push me out".

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Update (4:45 P.M.): A new statement from Tamara Taylor, a spokesperson for Asher, calls the S.C.B.W.I.'s initial statement about the author "completely false".

"I find it weird and horrifying that nobody has named Jay Asher..." The Oklahoma Writers' Federation already has canceled a planned keynote address by Asher at a conference in May.

"I understand the predicament they're in with everything going on and to want to protect themselves", Asher said.

Reportedly, the scandal began when Asher's name frequently popped up in the comments section of a School Library Journal article on sexual harassment in children's publishing.

Thirteen Reasons Why was Asher's first book.

The series sparked discussion between schools, parents and children over bullying and suicide.

Asher, 42, has spoken publicly about the treatment of women. The streaming network says the new season "not be impacted". Last weekend, he responded to a tweet by prize-winning author Laurie Halse Anderson, who wrote of her "volcanic anger about rape culture and toxic masculinity".

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