By Tyler Aquilina
March 06, 2020 at 03:14 PM EST
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"Cafe Society" Photocall - The 69th Annual Cannes Film Festival
Credit: Epsilon/Getty Images

Just four days after Hachette Book Group announced it would publish Woody Allen's autobiography Apropos of Nothing, the publisher has backtracked on its decision. Hachette announced Friday it has decided to cancel the release and return the book's rights to Allen.

"The decision to cancel Mr. Allen’s book was a difficult one," Hachette said in a statement. "At HBG we take our relationships with authors very seriously, and do not cancel books lightly. We have published and will continue to publish many challenging books. As publishers, we make sure every day in our work that different voices and conflicting points of views can be heard."

"Also, as a company, we are committed to offering a stimulating, supportive and open work environment for all our staff," the statement continues. "Over the past few days, HBG leadership had extensive conversations with our staff and others.  After listening, we came to the conclusion that moving forward with publication would not be feasible for HBG."

The move comes in the wake of substantial backlash over the decision to publish the controversial filmmaker's memoir. Allen's adopted daughter Dylan Farrow, who has repeatedly accused the director of molesting her as a child — which he has consistently denied — called the decision "an utter betrayal" of her brother Ronan Farrow. (Hachette's imprint Little, Brown and Company published Ronan's book Catch and Kill last year.)

"This provides yet another example of the profound privilege that power, money and notoriety affords," she tweeted. "Hachette’s utter complicity in this should be called out for what it is and they should have to answer for it."

Ronan Farrow also denounced Hachette on Twitter, indicating he would cut ties with the publisher. "I was disappointed to learn through press reports that Hachette, my publisher, acquired Woody Allen's memoir after other major publishers refused to do so and concealed the decision from me and its own employees while we were working on Catch and Kill — a book about how powerful men, including Woody Allen, avoid accountability for sexual abuse," he wrote, adding, "I've also told Hachette that a publisher that would conduct itself in this way is one I can't work with in good conscience."

On Thursday, more than 75 Hachette employees staged a walkout in protest, and several authors — some of whom Hachette has or will publish — tweeted their support of the protesters.

Representatives for Ronan Farrow did not immediately respond to EW's request for comment.

UPDATE: Dylan Farrow responded to Hachette's decision to drop Allen's memoir, tweeting a statement thanking the employees who took part in the protest.

"To each and every individual who, at great professional risk to themselves, stood in solidarity with my brother, myself, and all victims of sexual abuse yesterday: words will never describe the debt of gratitude I owe to you," she wrote. "For someone who has felt alone in my story for so long, yesterday was a profound reminder of what a difference can be made when people stand and unite together for what's right."

Ronan Farrow also expressed his gratitude on Twitter, writing, "I'm grateful to all the Hachette employees and authors who spoke up and to the company for listening."

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