Simon & Schuster has said it will go ahead and publish former US vice president Mike Pence’s memoir despite objections from staff who petitioned against the book.
In a memo sent to employees on Tuesday, CEO Jonathan Karp said the publisher’s mission was to “publish a diversity of voices and perspectives.”
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“We will, therefore, proceed in our publishing agreement with Vice President Mike Pence,” he wrote.
Simon & Schuster announced earlier this month that Pence had inked a deal to write an autobiography detailing his time in former president Donald Trump’s administration.
The publisher said it would be a two-book contract, with the first volume tentatively scheduled for publication in 2023.
Two people in the publishing industry said Pence’s deal is worth between $3 million and $4 million, CNN reported.
The announcement sparked an outcry from staff who circulated a petition saying that the agreement meant the publisher was “legitimizing bigotry.”
The petition, which does not list the number of signatories, accused Pence of pushing policies that discriminated against people of color, LGBTQ groups and women.
“Mike Pence has literal and figurative blood on his hands. We demand you cancel Mike Pence’s book deal,” it said, according to copies circulating online.
The currently untitled memoir is expected to cover Pence’s faith and public service, including his stint as a US congressman, his rise to become the governor of Indiana, and his return to Washington as Trump’s number two.
Pence, 61, has largely been on the political sidelines since he and Trump lost the November election to now-President Joe Biden and Vice President Kamala Harris.
But the conservative is Republican widely believed to be considering a presidential run of his own in 2024, and a pre-election memoir would fulfill a step traditionally taken by American politicos mulling higher office.
Last week, Simon & Schuster announced it would not distribute a book written by a police officer involved in the shooting of Black woman Breonna Taylor in Louisville, Kentucky last year.