The publisher of a forthcoming book about cancel culture has cancelled its plans after the author ranted about Islam on Twitter. The author, Julie Burchill, "stepped over the line" in her verbal attack on writer Ash Sakar, wrote publisher Little, Brown, in its dismissal.
"While there is no legal definition of hate speech in the UK, we believe that Julie's comments on Islam are not defensible from a moral or intellectual standpoint, that they crossed a line with regard to race and religion, and that her book has now become inextricably linked with those views."
Writing on Facebook, Burchill said the publishers had told her there was "also a concern that the line might be crossed again during the promotion of the book", to which she added: "I'LL SAY!"
Burchill is a famous outrage farmer in the UK, doing whatever offensive thing leads to the next round of coverage. She is joyously cynical about what she's doing, too, always a strong move in British media circles.
On the other hand, it always seemed to reflect a deep need for approval and attention within those circles.
She's obviously not entitled to a book deal, but the cancellation of a book about cancel culture is unavoidably comical. As bigoted as Burchill is, her publisher knew what and who it was buying into. Moreover, its smarmy and evasive statement is contemptible in its own right—as is the BBC's affected paraprasing of what Burchill said to make it sufficiently inoffensive to describe.
So while her remarks read as bottom-tier Twitter racism, they are also, in context, a good example of a provocation well-tuned to the pomposity of the business and media cultures paying attention to her—everyone else be damned.