Good news! Now that all the allegations against Bill O'Reilly have finally gotten public attention, Fox News has kicked the man to the curb, canceling his O'Reilly Factor TV show. It's embarrassing that it took this long, but it's good to see that activism eventually pays off.
However. O'Reilly is also a bestselling writer — or more likely, "writer" — of historical books. His books warp and twist history into something that is barely recognizeable, but they sell like the proverbial hotcakes.
Even worse, O'Reilly right now has a children's book at the top of the bestseller charts. Co-"authored" with bestselling hit factory James Patterson, Give Please a Chance is an etiquette book for children:
Of course, every angry white grandpa in America who is continually enraged by "PC Culture" is now going to buy a copy of this book and mail it to their grandkids out of spite. We can't do anything about those horrible people. But will publishers think twice about their relationship with O'Reilly?
It's doubtful. As the disastrous Simon & Schuster deal with Milo Yiannopoulos proves, corporate publishers will cling to potentially moneymaking authors until the very last possible second. Some truly despicable comments by Yiannopoulos had to come to light (and had to spread widely) before they reversed their decision to publish his memoir. It seems doubtful that Henry Holt, the publisher of O'Reilly's work for adults, or Little, Brown, the publisher of his books for kids, will cancel the titles or sever their relationship with him.
But O'Reilly's TV show wouldn't have been pulled if people hadn't put pressure on O'Reilly Factor advertisers. Allegations about O'Reilly had been circulating for years; it wasn't until people stood up to say "enough" that Fox News took notice. So maybe it's worthwhile to let Henry Holt and Little, Brown know how you feel about their profiting from a man who even Fox News won't touch? Do their employees care that they're promoting the work of an alleged sexual predator? Maybe ask Little, Brown and Henry Holt those questions on Twitter and send them some emails and see what kind of a response you get.