Simon & Schuster says it will publish former Vice President Mike Pence’s memoir despite objections from employees who signed petitions demanding the company not sign book deals with former Trump administration officials, according to a report.
The book publisher’s CEO, Jonathan Karp, said in a letter to staffers on Tuesday that he wants to ensure that different “voices and perspectives” can be heard, Fox Business reported.
“As a publisher in this polarized era, we have experienced outrage from both sides of the political divide and from different constituencies and groups. But we come to work each day to publish, not cancel, which is the most extreme decision a publisher can make, and one that runs counter to the very core of our mission to publish a diversity of voices and perspectives,” Karp said in the missive.
Karp’s explanation comes a week after Simon & Schuster, the publishing arm of ViacomCBS Inc., decided against distributing a book written by John Mattingly, one of the Louisville police officers involved in the May 2020 raid that left Breonna Taylor dead, following boycott threats.
“That decision was immediate, unprecedented, and responsive to the concerns we heard from you and our authors,” Karp said in the letter. “At the same time, we have contractual obligations and must continue to respect the terms of our agreements with our client publishers.”
Simon & Schuster employees circulated petitions online and internally against publishing Pence’s memoir of his time in the White House.
The petition claims the book publisher ”has chosen complicity in perpetuating white supremacy by publishing Mike Pence and continuing to distribute books for Post Hill Press.”
It went on to accuse Pence of supporting policies that were racist, sexist and discriminatory to the LGBTQ community, saying, “This is not a difference of opinions; this is legitimizing bigotry.”
A spokesman for Pence declined to comment, the report said.
Pence announced the two-book deal with Simon & Schuster earlier this month.
The memoir is expected to hit shelves in 2023.
The ex-veep, who recently had a pacemaker installed, announced he was launching a conservative advocacy group, Advancing American Freedom, the same day as the book deal.
It “will defend and build upon the successful policies of the Trump-Pence Administration,” and “help defeat the Radical Left Agenda and Advance American Freedom for generations to come!” Pence said.