Here is the update on the Woody Allen memoir you certainly were not waiting for and do not want: Apropos of Nothing … exists. New York Times columnist and longtime internet antagonist Bret Stephens (yes, the bedbug Bret Stephens) has taken up his pen in defense of the director and his memoir, recently canceled by Hachette Book Group. “But just to be sure the critics didn’t have a point, I decided to ask for a copy of the book and read it. Turns out, it’s pretty good,” Stephens wrote in his March 18 column titled “Woody Allen Meets the Cancel Culture.” Stephens goes on to report that the book is cleverly written: “Allen writes well. There’s humor on nearly every page. He’s been a major creative presence on the stage of American arts for 60 years, so his cast of characters is large. The background is peopled with the likes of Ed Sullivan, Dick Cavett, Johnny Carson, Pauline Kael, Scarlett Johansson and Timothée Chalamet; the foreground by Louise Lasser, Diane Keaton and Mia Farrow.”
Hachette Book Group announced that it would no longer publish Allen’s memoir after the publisher was lambasted by Ronan Farrow and members of its own staff protested the book’s publication. Stephens often devotes his column to arguments that are ill-conceived and poorly argued, but usually he doesn’t fall on his free speech sword in the middle of a global pandemic. Cheers!