An upcoming book by US senator Josh Hawley has been cancelled by its publisher after the senator backed baseless claims that the US election was stolen. Hawley helped enflame an already tense situation which ultimately led to the insurrection and attempted coup at the US Capitol last week. The Missouri Republican has called the publishers decision “Orwellian” and has vowed to fight them in court.
The books publishers, Simon & Schuster, released a statement on Thursday: “After witnessing the disturbing, deadly insurrection that took place on Wednesday in Washington, DC, Simon & Schuster has decided to cancel publication of Senator Josh Hawley’s forthcoming book, The Tyranny of Big Tech.
“We did not come to this decision lightly,” the publisher added. “As a publisher it will always be our mission to amplify a variety of voices and viewpoints: at the same time we take seriously our larger public responsibility as citizens, and cannot support Senator Hawley after his role in what became a dangerous threat to our democracy and freedom.”
Hawley is considered a rising star within the Republican party and is seen by some as a future presidential candidate. His book, which was originally scheduled for June, would have focused on one of his favourite themes, the undue power of the tech giants.
Shortly after the news broke that his book deal had been cancelled Hawley took to Twitter: “I was representing my constituents, leading a debate on the Senate floor on voter integrity, which they have now decided to redefine as sedition.”
“This could not be more Orwellian… Let me be clear, this is not just a contract dispute. It’s a direct assault on the First Amendment… I will fight this cancel culture with everything I have. We’ll see you in court.”
Simon & Schuster were quick to hit back with another statement which said that they were “confident that we are acting fully within our contractual rights.”
This is not the first time Simon & Schuster has clashed with right wing supporters of Donald Trump. It called off a deal with right wing commentator Milo Yiannopoulos while publishing a number of best-selling anti-Trump tomes, including his niece Mary Trump’s Too Much and Never Enough, and The Room Where It Happened by former National Security Advisor John Bolton.