Jay Asher, author of 13 Reasons Why, has been expelled from the Society of Children's Book Writers and Illustrators, following sexual harassment allegations. Lin Oliver, the group's executive director, told the Associated Press on Monday that Asher was removed from the group because he violated its harassment code; Oliver said the group had received anonymous complaints by email. "Both Jay Asher and [illustrator] David Díaz were found to have violated the SCBWI code of conduct in regard to harassment," Oliver wrote in an email to the AP. "Claims against them were investigated and, as a result, they are no longer members and neither will be appearing at any SCBWI events in the future."
Asher told BuzzFeed News that he left SCBWI of his own volition and denied the accusations against him. "It's very scary when you know people are just not going to believe you once you open your mouth,” he said. “I feel very conflicted about it just because of what's going on in the culture and who's supposed to be believed and who's not.” He also told BuzzFeed that he felt "thrown under the bus" by SCBWI, and claims that he's the person being harassed. “The truth is that I had been harassed by these people for close to 10 years,” Asher said. “And I just could not deal with it anymore." Following Oliver's statement, the Oklahoma Writers' Federation also told the AP that they had canceled a scheduled appearance by Asher.
Asher's book 13 Reasons Why debuted in 2007, and in 2017, Netflix turned it into a popular show starring Katherine Langford and Dylan Minnette. Asher is also the author of What Light and co-author of The Future of Us.
Asher was due to hold a book signing event in Manila from February 24-25 at SM Aura Premier, SM City Cebu, and Raffles Makati. National Bookstore, the official organizer of the event, has since then issued a statement saying that Asher's book signing has been postponed.
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**Additional reporting by Cosmo.ph editors.
This article originally appeared on Cosmopolitan.com. Minor edits have been made by the Cosmo.ph editors.