Maze Runner Author Apologizes After Being Accused of Sexual Misconduct

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13 Reasons Why author Jay Asher was “quietly expelled” from the Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators recently after he allegedly violated the organization’s sexual harassment code, and now another beloved YA writer is facing sexual misconduct allegations. James Dashner, the man behind the Maze Runner series, apologized after being accused of harassment by multiple people.

The 45-year-old posted a lengthy statement explaining his side of the story and saying he is “so deeply sorry” for his past behavior.

He started the message, “I have spent the recent days reexamining my actions and searching my soul. Some of the things said about me have been shocking and my initial instinct was to be defensive. But I also have thought about how numerous women now have come forward as part of a vital movement to lead a discussion about sexual harassment and discrimination in the publishing industry. And I have talked with friends deeply immersed in the #MeToo and #TimesUp movement.”

James then admitted that he has, in fact, “been part of the problem.”

“I believe all victims must be heard and I’m committed to listening to them,” he continued. “I’ve taken these past few days for introspection, to see if I’ve been part of the problem. I think that I have. I didn’t honor or fully understand boundaries and power dynamics. I can sincerely say that I have never intentionally hurt another person. But to all those affected, I am so deeply sorry. I am taking any and all criticisms and accusations very seriously, and I will seek counseling and guidance to address them.”

But despite his apology, JD was dropped by both his publisher, Penguin Random House, and his literary agent, Michael Bourret.

“I couldn’t in good conscience continue working with James, and I let him go yesterday,” the agent explained.

Penguin Random House stated it will “not be publishing any future books by James Dashner.”