13 Reasons Why author Jay Asher was expelled from a writing organization in 2017 due to violation of the organization’s sexual harassment policies.
As the #MeToo movement spreads to publishing, Asher’s name came up in the comments of a School Library Journal article on sexual harassment in children’s publishing.
“I find it bizarre and horrifying that nobody has named Jay Asher,” the anonymous user wrote. “I am equally horrified at hearing of his disgusting Twitter claims of being so very pro – #MeToo and #TimesUp. The irony is incredible, and belongs in an episode of Black Mirror.“
Asher is best known for 2007’s 13 Reasons Why, which dealt extensively with sexual assault and harassment and was turned into an immensely successful Netflix series in 2017. Asher served as a writer and consultant on the show, which is currently producing a second season.
Jay Asher and director Tom McCarthy on the set of ’13 Reasons Why.’
Image: Ron Koeberer/Netflix
According to the Associated Press, Asher was removed from the Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators in 2017, though the news only emerged on Monday. Executive director Lin Oliver confirmed that it was because of the society’s sexual harassment policy but did not go into detail.
“Both Jay Asher and David Diaz were found to have violated the SCBWI code of conduct in regard to harassment,” Oliver told AP. “Claims against them were investigated and, as a result, they are no longer members and neither will be appearing at any SCBWI events in the future.”
“It’s very scary when you know people are just not going to believe you once you open your mouth,” Asher told BuzzFeed News. “I feel very conflicted about it just because of what’s going on in the culture and who’s supposed to be believed and who’s not.”
Asher added that it was his decision to leave the Society and that he was being “harassed” online. More than one commenter on SJW confirmed Asher as the anonymous man she had named in a Medium piece the previous week. Oliver also entered the comments, promising “new and extended policies” forthcoming from the Society and reiterating that “we do not tolerate discrimination or harassment of any kind.”
Mashable has reached out to Netflix for comment about Asher’s role in Season 2 of 13 Reasons Why.