An event featuring Rolling Stone
writer Matt Taibbi scheduled for this evening at the Akron-Summit County Public Library has been canceled.
Taibbi was scheduled to appear as part of a publicity tour for his new book, I Can't Breathe,
about the 2014 police killing of Eric Garner.
In a statement, the library said it was made aware of certain controversial writings from Taibbi's time in Moscow, during which he edited a satirical tabloid newspaper. Those writings, found in a book
chronicling his experiences with co-editor Mark Ames, contained "graphic misogynistic imagery involving the sexual exploitation of women."
"Mr. Taibbi has posted an apology for this work on Facebook, and an explanation for what he says was fictional satire rather than an account of real events. Unfortunately, the Library cannot ignore the misogynistic content of Mr. Taibbi’s previous work, and has decided to cancel the program," the library said.
The library specified that the decision was unrelated to the subject of Taibbi's new book and that I Can't Breathe
would be available for borrowing.
The graphic content in Taibbi's Moscow writings first came up in an interview with NPR's Robin Young at a book event October 25th. Taibbi apologized for the content, characterizing the behavior described as "reprehensible" but also "fictional and not true." (This was complicated in the ensuing media furor by a note at the beginning of the book classifying it as a work of nonfiction.) Taibbi said he has never made "advances or sexually suggestive comments" to any co-worker ever.
Still, an author appearance in Washinton D.C. was canceled last week
. And Taibbi himself, citing "scheduling demands," canceled an appearance
at a Chicago Humanities Festival on Oct. 28.
Taibbi's full Facebook statement below.