A Series of Unfortunate Events‘ Lemony Snicket Accused of Sexual Misconduct
There really is no safe space in the entertainment industry. Following the bombshell that former media mogul Harvey Weinstein allegedly sexually harassed and raped more than 80+ women, more and more members of the community are shouting #MeToo, calling out others who abused their power.
While there have been plenty of men in movies, television and music who have been named for their alleged crimes since October 2017, in recent weeks, it’s been noted YA book authors on the chopping block. 13 Reasons Why‘s Jay Asher is one; The Maze Runner‘s James Dashner is another… Now, it’s A Series of Unfortunate Events‘ Lemony Snicket.
The 47-year-old writer, whose real name is Daniel Handler, is getting reamed by female authors and librarians for making lewd and inappropriate jokes.
“I don’t think you’re a monster, Mr. Handler,” wrote accuser Roseanne Parry, who wrote Heart of a Shepherd. “I think you’re a person who is socially ill at ease who has chosen to cope by using the belittling humor and sarcasm that serves you well on the page but poorly in life.”
Daniel has, since, apologized, noting that his sense of humor has “not been for everyone.”
This isn’t the first time the author’s inappropriate comments made headlines. Back in November 2014, he was criticized for making a racist joke while hosting the National Book Awards.
After African-American author Jacqueline Woodson was honored with the National Book Award for young people’s literature for Brown Girl Dreaming, DH took to the stage and made some racially charged comments about his fellow writer.
“I told Jackie she was going to win, and I said that if she won, I would tell all of you something I learned about her this summer, which is that Jackie Woodson is allergic to watermelon. Just let that sink in your mind,” he said to the audience. “I said, ‘You have to put that in a book,’ and she said, ‘You put it in a book.’ And I said, ‘I’m only writing a book about a black girl who’s allergic to watermelon if I get a blurb from you, Cornel West, Toni Morrison and Barack Obama, saying, ‘This guy’s okay, this guy’s fine.'”
He apologized for that as well, tweeting, “My job at last night’s National Book Awards #NBAwards was to shine a light on tremendous writers, including Jacqueline Woodson, and not to overshadow their achievements with my own ill-conceived attempts at humor. I clearly failed, and I’m sorry.”
“My remarks on Wednesday night at #NBAwards were monstrously inappropriate and yes, racist. It would be heartbreaking for the #NBAwards conversation to focus on my behavior instead of great books. So can we do this?” he added. “Let’s donate to #WeNeedDiverseBooks to #CelebrateJackie. I’m in for $10,000, and matching your money for 24 hours up to $100,000. Brown Girl Dreaming is an amazing novel and we need more voices like Jacqueline Woodson.”