inTouch: Michael Moore Tries to Ban His Book from Being Sold in Georgia
September 28, 2011 by Jada.Bradley
Filmmaker Michael Moore is certainly one of a kind. When many authors are doing all they can to sell their books, Moore asked his publisher to stop selling his memoir, Here Comes Trouble: Stories From My Life, in the state of Georgia.
This request was in reaction to the execution of Troy Davis and you can read Moore’s original statement on his blog, in which he writes: “I will ask my publisher to pull my book from every Georgia bookstore and if they won’t do that I will donate every dime of every royalty my book makes in Georgia to help defeat the racists and killers who run that state.”
A spokesman for Gov. Nathan Deal issued a rather flippant response to Moore’s proposed boycott: “We think it’s cute that he thinks anyone in Georgia would buy his book, I’m happy to double the royalties and buy a pack of gum for a charity of Michael Moore’s choice.” The Georgia Chamber of Commerce went the “no comment” route.
While I understand Moore’s desire to take a strong stance against the controversial execution, I’m surprised he would advocate pulling his book. It’s interesting to hear that during Banned Books Week, when we celebrate works that were likely pulled from shelves despite the authors’ wishes, a writer wants to pull his own book.
While an author is the face of a book, there are many other people involved. Book sales don’t just affect the writer; they affect people working for the publisher—from the people in the warehouse to editorial staff to the person at the front desk.
Plus, Moore can’t exactly restrict e-book sales to people in Georgia either.
And that is the other surprising part—that Moore wouldn’t want to see to it that people in Georgia were exposed to his particular point of view. One could easily say that the people of Georgia elected the politicians that Moore finds reprehensible and therefore must be of the same mindset as their elected officials, but it really isn’t that simple. How can we inspire change if we refuse to communicate with those with different viewpoints from us?
Also, Moore has crusaded on behalf of the poor and disenfranchised; there may be some people who remain in the state because they can’t afford to leave; who would suffer if such a boycott were actually to take place? And why is an entire state being generalized?
An update on Mediabistro’s GalleyCat blog reports that “Moore was unable to pull his book in Georgia, but will donate to The Innocence Project instead.” In truth, an announcement that he planned to make such a donation in the wake of Troy Davis’ death might have been a better use of his public platform than a shortsighted call for “Americans with a conscience to shun anything and everything to do with the murderous state of Georgia.”
Of course, one couldn’t expect anything less from the Michigan-born man described as “the nation’s unofficial provocateur laureate“ but the statement that came out of the Georgia governor’s office was no less troubling.
What do you think of Moore’s boycott attempt?
Add your two cents to Macmillan and Amazon’s disagreement over pricing when Amazon (briefly) pulled Macmillan books.
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About The Author:
Jada Bradley (jadabradley.com) is a Washington DC-based writer and educator who enjoys telling stories in formal and informal ways. Her work has appeared in The Washington Post and online. She holds Masters in Spanish Translation and is a great supporter of creative expression in the various forms it takes. She also writes about local cultural events as D.C. Cultural Events Examiner for Examiner.com. Her blog, In Other Words, can be found at inotherwordz.blogspot.com.