A number of Penguin Random House Canada employees believe that they should be able to influence the company’s choice of books to publish, and recently spoke – and cried – about it, prompted by Jordan Peterson’s upcoming book, Beyond Order: 12 More Rules for Life.
These employees expressed their opinions and emotions about the author, a well-known Canadian psychologist and an outspoken critic of political correctness and identity politics, during a recent town hall meeting with the publisher, urging for the book to be scrapped.
Some of the scenes from the meeting were reportedly quite dramatic, with employees saying they felt sadness and feared that Peterson’s book would have a negative effect on “non-binary” persons, while one of them said the scientist and author has already had a negative influence on their father, “radicalizing” him with the ideas found in his work.
Four of those present at the town hall spoke for Vice revealing these details from the meeting.
It also appears that those protesting the decision to publish the book, including junior employees, believe Penguin Random House should get their approval for its plans ahead of time, and say the situation with publishing Peterson’s new work is tantamount to “ambushing” them. However, reports say that the book has been in the pipeline for several years.
One employee – who said they were not proud to work for the company, but didn’t seem to suggest they’d quit over this, either – accused Peterson of transphobia, hate speech, and white supremacy.
The dissatisfied employees also found fault with the publisher wanting to make money, accusing it of defending Peterson merely for that reason. His previous book, 12 Rules for Life, was a big bestseller.
But publisher Anne Collins seemed to disagree with the notion that Peterson was “ruining” people’s lives left and right – instead suggesting he “helped millions of people who are on the fringes of society who would otherwise be radicalized by alt-right groups.”
Penguin Random House, while announcing that the book will be out this coming March, stood its ground, saying that although its employees are given a forum and an opportunity to express themselves and give feedback – the company “remains committed to publishing a range of voices and viewpoints.”