LOS ANGELES, Feb 14 — Author Jay Asher has responded after allegations of sexual harassment resulted in his expulsion from the Society of Children’s Book Writers.
Asher was reportedly expelled after the group received a number of anonymous complaints via email, which prompted director Lin Oliver to terminate his membership.
“After we investigated, we felt that terminating his membership was the proper course of action,” Lin Oliver was quoted as saying by 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.”
In response, Asher claimed that it was his own decision to leave the group.
“It’s very scary when you know people are just not going to believe you once you open your mouth,” Asher 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.”
He added: “I understand the predicament they’re in with everything going on and to want to protect themselves.
“I love the organisation, but they didn’t decide to push me out. It was my decision, even though [Oliver] said the email contained nothing that their organization should have anything to do with.
Asher is best known for his 2007 debut novel 13 Reasons Why, which was adapted into a Netflix TV series in 2017.
Set in the aftermath of a high-school student’s suicide, the series and book attracted controversy for the depiction of suicide and a rape scene.
A second series is planned for this year.