Well-known children’s author Jay Asher has been expelled from a prominent literary group following allegations of sexual harassment.
Both Asher and book illustrator David Diaz were removed from the Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators (SCBWI) for violating the group’s harassment code. Asher is known for the novels The Future of Us and 13 Reasons Why, which was turned into a Netflix series last year. Diaz has worked on a number of children’s books and won the Caldecott medal for illustration for Smoky Night in 1994.
The executive director of the group confirmed the removal of both men this week, noting that the claims against them were investigated prior to their removal, USA Today reports. The SCBWI reportedly received a number of anonymous complaints about Asher by email but the group didn’t provide details about the nature of those complaints.
Asher was reportedly removed from the group last year, but his banning has recently started to gain attention following an article about sexual harassment in the children’s book industry that was published this week on Medium. Asher was named in the comments.
Asher denied the harassment claims in an interview with Buzzfeed, and says he left the group voluntarily.