As we all know, Twitter mobs have been going after people for “wrong-think”. It seems that they’re no longer content with that and are now going after fiction authors for “wrong-write”. Reclaim The Net explains.
Social media outrage at fictional books is causing contrite writers to revise their lines post-publication. Critics are ignoring the fact that what fictional characters say and do does not represent the ideologies of the author or publisher.
Elin Hilderbrand faced backlash on Instagram for a passage in her new summer 2021 book, The Golden Girl. The passage is an exchange between two teenagers, Savannah and Vivi, where they discuss how Vivi will hide in the attic of Savannah’s home without Savannah’s parents knowing.
“You’re suggesting I hide here all summer?” Vivi asks. “Like… like Anne Frank?” she adds. The narrator then says, “This makes them both laugh – but is it really funny, and is Vivi so far off base?”
The passage was criticized through a post on the Instagram page of Little, Brown and Company, Hilderbrand’s publisher. The original post, which has since been deleted, described the passage as “horifically antisemitic,” and demanded an apology from both the publisher and Hilderbrand.
[…]The backlash forced the author to apologize, promising to remove the passage from all future printings.
[…]As noted by Slate, this was not the only time in the past month that an author has faced backlash for the words of their fictional characters. On Twitter, a user posted a passage from Casey McQuiston’s Red, White & Royal Blue, a popular 2019 romance novel, where a supporting character says: “Well, my UN ambassador fucked up his one job and said something idiotic about Israel, and now I have to call Netanyahu and personally apologize.”
The Twitter user believes the passage was unnecessary, with one supporter of her sentiments insisting the passage “normalizes the genocide & war crimes done by Israel that will always be backed up & unashamedly supported by America.”
[…]McQuiston explained that the line was “not a statement of my beliefs” but “a dig at US presidential diplomacy.” Like Hilderbrand, she caved to the backlash and stated that the line has “been changed from all future printings.”
Both McQuiston and Hilderbrand were criticized for what their fictional characters said, which obviously does not represent their beliefs. The criticism, however, is not surprising, as it was only a matter of time before the rapidly spreading climate of intolerance and entitlement reached fictional works.
The real worry here isn’t that the Twitter mob is going after writers of fiction. Twitter is a cesspool of idiots and the intolerant after all. The real worry is that writers are kowtowing to them. Can you imagine Mark Twain taking seriously a Twitter mob calling Huckleberry Finn “racist”? Or Shakespeare apologising for not including trans and gay characters in “Romeo and Juliet” and making it too “hetero-centric”? And what about that great classic of American literature “Moby Dick”? Obviously, it’s offensive to the mentally ill, especially to people with compulsive disorders. And as for the fact that it is about a whaler hunting a whale, well …
The correct response to the Twitter mob is either silence or a simple f*ck you.