Thirteen Reasons Why Author Jay Asher Expelled Post-Sexual Harassment Claims
Sexual misconduct has infiltrated practically every sector of the entertainment industry: movies, television, music and, apparently, books as well. The latest case of harassment centers around the once-beloved YA author Jay Asher.
Last year, the writer of Thirteen Reasons Why was reportedly (via Entertainment Weekly) “quietly expelled” from the Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators after he allegedly violated the organization’s harassment code.
In response to the comments section of an article that called out sexual harassment in children’s publishing, SCBWI Executive Director Lin Oliver wrote, “Please understand that SCBWI can only take action on what has been reported. Two men have been reported — [illustrator] David Diaz and Jay Asher. Both have been expelled from the SCBWI and are not welcome as members, faculty or speakers… There is a zero-tolerance policy for harassment, there is a preponderance [of] powerful and respected women on our board, on our staff and in our membership.”
“After we investigated, we felt that terminating his membership was the proper course of action,” she told BuzzFeed. “We have always been really sensitive to sexual harassment issues and have a zero-tolerance policy, but clearly our policies haven’t prevented violations, so we’re taking this opportunity to take another look at our guidelines.”
So far, Jay denies being expelled. “It’s very scary when you know people are just not going to believe you once you open your mouth,” he told BuzzFeed. “I feel very conflicted about it just because of what’s going on in the culture and who’s supposed to be believed and who’s not.”
“I understand the predicament they’re in with everything going on and to want to protect themselves,” he continued. “I love the organization, but they didn’t decide to push me out. It was my decision…”
This news comes shortly after 13 Reasons Why actor Bryan Box was arrested for stealing from elderly people, and fellow 13RW actor Uriah Shelton was hit with a restraining order for allegedly kicking a girl in the stomach.
The popular Netflix show recently wrapped up filming Season 2. As of now, none of the cast or crew members — including Selena Gomez and her mom, Mandy Teefey — has commented on the claims against Jay Asher.