Canadian psychologist Jordan Peterson is set to release a new book, Beyond Order: 12 More Rules for Life, in march of 2021, but the announcement of his latest work set the publishing company ablaze.

According to VICE, some staffers felt ambushed by the news of Peterson’s upcoming book and many pushed to have the book cancelled during a confrontation with Penguin Random House management Monday. Management held a town hall meeting with employees in which they defended their decision to publish Peterson’s book.

On Monday, Penguin Random House Canada, Canada’s largest book publisher and a subsidiary of Penguin Random House, announced it will be publishing Beyond Order: 12 More Rules for Life by Peterson, to be released in March 2021. The book will be published by Portfolio in the U.S. and Penguin Press in the U.K., both part of the Penguin Random House empire.

Four Penguin Random House Canada employees, who did not want to be named due to concerns over their employment, said the company held a town hall about the book Monday, during which executives defended the decision to publish Peterson while employees cited their concerns about platforming someone who is popular in far-right circles.

“He is an icon of hate speech and transphobia and the fact that he’s an icon of white supremacy, regardless of the content of his book, I’m not proud to work for a company that publishes him,” a junior employee who is a member of the LGBTQ community and who attended the town hall told VICE World News.

Another employee said “people were crying in the meeting about how Jordan Peterson has affected their lives.” They said one co-worker discussed how Peterson had radicalized their father and another, who is talked about how publishing the book will negatively affect their non-binary friend.

“The company since June has been doing all these anti-racist and allyship things and them publishing Peterson’s book completely goes against this. It just makes all of their previous efforts seem completely performative,” the employee added.

A third employee told VICE World News the company’s diversity and inclusion committee received at least 70 anonymous messages about Peterson’s book, and only a couple are in favour of the decision to publish it.

In an email statement, Penguin Random House Canada said it is open to its employees’ feedback.

“We announced yesterday that we will publish Jordan Peterson’s new book Beyond Order this coming March. Immediately following the announcement, we held a forum and provided a space for our employees to express their views and offer feedback. Our employees have started an anonymous feedback channel, which we fully support. We are open to hearing our employees’ feedback and answering all of their questions. We remain committed to publishing a range of voices and viewpoints,” the statement said.

I can’t hear town hall meeting without thinking of Parks and Recreation, but in any case, the response to Peterson writing a book that is a follow up to his 12 Rules for Life: An Antidote to Chaos, which discusses growing up, accepting responsibility, and owning your role in your life is tired and predictable given the response to Peterson in general, who, in a just world, would be the least controversial figure among us. I’d also put money on the table that no one objecting to the publication of his second book has read its predecessor.

12 Rules for Life is a national and international number one best seller because it’s chocked full of basic boundary holding advice that’s all but completely missing from most facets of broad culture and even parenting these days.

 

 
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