Employees at Penguin Random House Canada reportedly cried over the publisher’s decision to publish Jordan Peterson’s new book during a town hall meeting.
Peterson, a Canadian clinical psychologist self-styled as the “professor against political correctness,” announced his new book Beyond Order: 12 More Rules for Life will be released in March 2021 in a YouTube video on Monday.
Vice reported that the news sparked an outcry at Canada’s biggest book publisher, with some staffers confronting management in a bid to cancel the book’s release. Dozens more filed anonymous complaints about the book, the report said.
Four Penguin Random House Canada employees told Vice that the company was secretive about Peterson’s book and it didn’t appear in an internal database that usually includes all upcoming releases.
They said that at the internal town hall on Monday, publishing executives defended the decision to publish Peterson, while employees aired their grievances.
“He is an icon of hate speech and transphobia and the fact that he’s an icon of white supremacy, regardless of the content of his book, I’m not proud to work for a company that publishes him,” one employee, who is a member of the LGBTQ community, told Vice.
Another said “people were crying in the meeting about how Jordan Peterson has affected their lives.”
One staffer said Peterson had “radicalized” their father, while another said publishing his new book “will negatively affect their non-binary friend.”
Peterson is known for his divisive views on political and cultural issues, after rising to prominence over his refusal to use gender-neutral pronouns in 2016. His book 12 Rules for Life: An Antidote to Chaos sold more than five million copies worldwide, according to Penguin Random House.
In a statement to Vice, Penguin Random House Canada said it was “committed to publishing a range of voices and viewpoints.”
“We are open to hearing our employees’ feedback and answering all of their questions,” the statement added.
Book for sale here: https://t.co/3QGOAEmoa3
“During a tense town hall, staff cried and expressed dismay with the publishing giant’s decision to publish ‘Beyond Order: 12 More Rules for Life.'”https://t.co/hFBJPS2SmA
— Mikhaila Peterson (@MikhailaAleksis) November 24, 2020
The report by Vice was circulated widely on social media, with some suggesting the employees who complained should be fired.
Peterson’s daughter Mikhaila Peterson tweeted the article, adding that the “crying adults” should be identified and fired.
Conservative pundit Candace Owens also called for the employees to be terminated. “I have never understood business owners being ‘confronted’ by employees making demands,” she tweeted.
“As a business-owner, I simply cannot relate. That’s a fast-track to unemployment for those of us that have a spine. I didn’t build my businesses for entitled brats to tell me how to run it.”
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