Children’s book publishers are scared of cancel culture according to author Anthony Horowitz, who says he has been affected by the trend.
Mr Horowitz, a television screenwriter and author of novels for children and adults, was ‘shocked’ when told what he could not write in his latest book for his young readers.
The 67-year-old says a ‘culture of fear’ limits literary expression, according to The temperature.
He is just one of many artists speaking out and resisting the cancel culture that has seen Harry Potter author JK Rowling ostracized by parts of society for their opinions on matters such as trans rights.
Anthony Horowitz (pictured) has admitted to being concerned about writing characters from different backgrounds to his own and the potential backlash that could come with it.
Anthony Horowitz: Who is the author and what books has he written?
Anthony Horowitz is an English screenwriter and novelist for adults and young audiences, specializing in mystery and suspense. He wrote over 40 books during his career.
The 67-year-old, from Middlesex, is perhaps best known for writing James Bond novels after the estate of late British spy creator Ian Fleming chose Horowitz to write Bond novels using new material. Subsequent works included Trigger Mortis in 2015, followed by Forever and a Day in 2018. A third novel titled With a Mind to Kill was released this month.
His other works include Mindgame, The House of Silk, Magpie Murders, Moonflower Murders and two Sherlock Holmes novels.
His work for young adults includes the Diamond Brothers series, the Alex Rider series, and the Power of Five series.
He has also contributed to TV series, having created and written the BBC series Foyle’s War, Collision, Injustice and New Blood for ITV.
He admitted to being concerned about writing characters from backgrounds different from his own and the potential backlash that could come from it.
Speaking at the Hay Festival, he said: “I’m very, very afraid of what you call cancel culture.
“I think what’s happening to writers is extremely dangerous, where certain words are hidden, where certain thoughts are no longer allowed, where certain activities [are not allowed]obviously related to gender or ethnicity or trying to share the experiences of others.
He told the crowd in Hay that he “suffered” writing his latest children’s book, Where Seagulls Dare: A Diamond Brothers Case, which is due out next month.
The book, about “the world’s worst detectives”, is aimed at children aged 8 to 12. He said a thorough rewrite was needed, but declined to say what the changes were.
“I just suffered from my last book notes from my editor that absolutely shocked me on things I could or couldn’t say, which is a children’s book, not an adult book,” he said. he declares.
“Children’s book publishers are more afraid than anyone. And it seems to me that the forces that are now active in the world – everything that has to do with the division of what we’ve been through, plus the kind of stark contrast created by social media that something is either very good is very bad but there is nothing in between — it leads to a culture of fear and that is the biggest problem.
“It’s not about cancellation, it’s not about anger, it’s about the fear that all creatives now have to feel if they dare to write.
“I believe writers shouldn’t be intimidated, we shouldn’t be forced to do things because we’re so afraid of setting off a storm on Twitter. Because once you start with writers coming into this tunnel, all of society will follow them and we’ll all be nudging each other in the dark, too scared to look for the light. That’s sort of where we’re headed.
He recommended watching Ricky Gervais ‘step back from it all’ amid criticism the 60-year-old received this week for joking about trans people and AIDS on a new Netflix show called SuperNature.
Mr Horowitz said he ‘suffered’ writing his latest children’s book, Where Seagulls Dare: A Diamond Brothers Case
Mr Horowitz advocates watching Ricky Gervais (pictured) and other ‘bold’ people
On the show, he talks about “old-fashioned women” and says, “They’re the ones with wombs.” Those fucking dinosaurs. I like new women. They’re awesome, aren’t they…the ones with beards and dicks.
On the show, Mr Gervais also said: ‘Full reveal: in real life, of course, I support trans rights. . . I support all human rights, and trans rights are human rights. Live your best life. Use your favorite pronouns. Be the type you feel you are. But meet me halfway, ladies: lose the dick. That’s all I’m saying.
He defended himself earlier this week and said on BBC’s The One Show that comedy was about ‘overcoming taboo subjects so they are no longer scary’.
“I think that’s what comedy is for, really – to get us through things, and I deal with taboo subjects because I want to take the audience to a place they’ve never been. before, even for a split second,” he said.
“Most offense comes from people mistaking the subject of a joke for the real target.”
In the Netflix special, he explains that he takes any stance that makes his jokes funnier in the moment “without bias,” but that these don’t represent his own opinions.
In Hay, Mr Horowitz advocated monitoring Mr Gervais and other “bold” people. He said “high-pitched voices are amplified by social media, but in reality they have nothing to say.”