Posted on June 24, 2020 at 9:15 AM by Sadye Scott-Hainchek

The CEO of Macmillan will step back from day-to-day responsibilities in the publishing company’s US operations, NPR reports.

John Sargent’s move comes after five of his employees organized an industry-wide day to protest against racism and fundraise for the Black community.

Sargent sent a letter to staff that also announced a thirteen-person committee — which he described as “a different and more inclusive management team, representing a wider range of experiences” — would handle those daily duties in his place.

You may remember that Macmillan has found itself in headlines for less-than-flattering reasons over the past year.

Most recently it came under fire for publishing American Dirt, a novel whose critics said was an inaccurate depiction of Mexico and Mexican immigrants, in addition to illustrating the industry's diversity problem — similar books by from Latinx authors, they said, have been passed up.

And earlier, its new ebook-license policy, which took effect in November (though it went on hiatus in March because of the coronavirus outbreak), drew the ire of librarians and their supporters.

The policy limited libraries to buying just one ebook copy of new releases upon publication; for additional licenses, they must wait eight weeks.

In response, many library systems across the nation announced that they would no longer buy Macmillan books at all.

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Categories: Today in Books

Tagged As: Diversity, NPR, Publishing

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