After a social-media outcry, Simon & Schuster announced on April 15 that it will no longer distribute a book by Jonathan Mattingly, a cop involved in the killing of Breonna Taylor. “Like much of the American public, earlier today Simon & Schuster learned of plans by distribution client Post Hill Press to publish a book by Jonathan Mattingly,” a company statement said. “We have subsequently decided not to be involved in the distribution of this book.” The Fight for Truth: The Inside Story Behind the Breonna Taylor Tragedy is being published by Post Hill Press, a Simon & Schuster client whose self-described focus includes “current events, Christian, and conservative political books.” Last March, Simon & Schuster posted a statement in support of the Black Lives Matter movement, writing that it stands against racism and violence. Many authors and readers felt that this sentiment was inconsistent with the decision to distribute a title by someone who reportedly wrote in an email that he and other officers “did the legal, moral, and ethical thing” on the night Taylor died. Mattingly, who retained his job and was not charged for his role in the fatal raid, has sued Taylor’s boyfriend for allegedly shooting him in the leg and causing him “mental anguish.”
The publishing giant did not comment on whether it would cut ties with Post Hill Press, whose past authors include far-right activist Laura Loomer and scandal-saddled Republican Congressman Matt Gaetz. This is not the first time Simon & Schuster has decided to pull a book. In 2017, the Big Five publisher called off former Breitbart editor Milo Yiannopoulous’s Dangerous after “standing by him through weeks of criticism.” This year, Simon & Schuster canceled plans to release Senator Josh Hawley’s The Tyranny of Big Tech after he was accused of inciting the Capitol insurrection. No word yet on that two-book deal it has with Vice President Mike Pence.