Maze Runner author James Dashner dropped by Random House in wake of misconduct allegations
Just days after he was dropped by his literary agent, James Dashner has also lost his publisher. Random House has decided to part ways with the Maze Runner author in the wake of the sexual misconduct allegations against him, EW has confirmed.
“Random House Children’s Books, Random House Publishing Group, and Penguin Random House Audio will not be publishing any future books by James Dashner,” Random House said in a statement.
Dashner has been with the major publishing company for the past decade, most famously with his Maze Runner YA series, the first book of which reached 100 weeks on the New York Times best-seller list and was adapted into a successful film franchise. Most recently, Dashner was at work on his first adult novel for Random House, The Waking, which was inspired by stories from the author’s hometown.
Earlier this week, four anonymous commenters on a recent School Library Journal article about sexual misconduct in children’s publishing alleged that Dashner exhibited inappropriate behavior toward them. In addition, two others said they named Dashner in Anne Ursu’s Medium piece reporting the results of a survey about harassment among members of the children’s publishing world.
Dashner expressed contrition in his public response, saying via Twitter that he’d “seek counseling” over his alleged behavior. “I have spent the recent days reexamining my actions and searching my soul,” Dashner said. “Some of the things said about me have been shocking and my initial instinct was to be defensive. But I also have thought about how numerous women nowhere come forward as part of a vital movement to lead a discussion about sexual harassment and discrimination in the publishing industry. And I have talked with friends deeply immersed in the #MeToo and #TimesUp movement.
“I believe all victims must be heard, and I’m committed to listening to them,” he continued. “I’ve taken these past few days for introspection, to see if I’ve been part of the problem. I think that I have. I didn’t honor or fully understand boundaries and power dynamics. I can sincerely say that I have never intentionally hurt another person. But to those affected, I am so deeply sorry. I am taking any and all criticism and accusations very seriously, and I will seek counseling and guidance to address them. Thank you for listening.”
Anonymous claims were also recently made against Thirteen Reasons Why author Jay Asher. SCBWI executive director Lin Oliver said earlier this week that Asher was “expelled” from the organization after it was determined that he violated their harassment code, but Asher has denied this, claiming he left on his own accord after having “consensual” affairs with women and that his membership remains active. Asher has also been dropped by his literary agent, and Netflix told EW the author was “not involved” with the second season of its TV adaptation 13 Reasons Why.