Longtime Publisher Drops Central Park Five Prosecutor Linda Fairstein In Wake Of New Wave Of Criticism
After a week of chaos, Fairstein continues to nosedive.
June 08, 2019 at 5:34 pm
Following the blowback stemming from the release of "When They See Us," prosecutor-turned-author Linda Fairstein has been dropped by her longtime publisher.
The Associated Press reports the infamous Central Park Five the writer will no longer be with her publisher. The news came Friday via Dutton spokeswoman Amanda Walker.
"Linda Fairstein and Dutton have decided to terminate their relationship," Fairstein said in a statement, issued through Laura Rossi Public Relations. "Fairstein is the author of 24 books, including 16 New York Times bestselling crime novels, as well as a nonfiction work that was a New York Times Notable Book of the Year."
In 1989, Fairstein spearheaded the crusade against five Black and Latino teens falsely accused of beating and raping Trish Meili, a white woman.
The 72-year-old turned her newfound national fame into a lucrative book career lasting nearly 30 years. Her most recent book, Blood Oath, was released in March.
After the release of director Ava DuVernay's docuseries dramatizing the case, critics called for the former Manhattan sex crimes prosecutor to be held more accountable for her role.
The #CancelLindaFairstein movement spread on social media. She was forced to resign from two nonprofit boards due to the social media firestorm. Since the backlash, she also resigned from the board of trustees at Vassar College. There were also calls for a boycott of her books.
However, as the AP notes, the controversy started long before the current Twitter movement. In 2018, the Mystery Writers of America rescinded a lifetime achievement honor due to other authors' protests.
Raymond Santana, Kevin Richardson, Antron McCray, Yusef Salaam and Kharey Wise were not fully exonerated until 2002.
If Matias Reyes did not confess to the heinous act, the five would have been held accountable for a crime they did not do. Reyes is a convicted serial rapist and murderer.
The group of five men settled a civil lawsuit against New York City for $41 million five years ago.
The case riled up and intensified racial issues in the nation. Like so many Black males accused of raping white women, the Central Park Five became the symbol of racial animus and fear.
Donald Trump, long before he was president, took out a full-page ad calling for the death penalty for the five. According to Time Magazine, the business tycoon reportedly paid $85,000 for ads in local newspapers.