karen_w_newton (karen_w_newton) wrote,

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Like Hollywood in the '30's?

I noticed an item on the Guardian book blog about an effort by Random House to insert a clause in their contracts for authors of children's books. The clause reads: "If you act or behave in a way which damages your reputation as a person suitable to work with or be associated with children, and consequently the market for or value of the work is seriously diminished, and we may (at our option) take any of the following actions: Delay publication / Renegotiate advance / Terminate the agreement."

In spite of being residents of the country where the Puritans came from, the Brits seem less inclined to point fingers at people who march to the beat of wild and crazy drummers. Poster Sian Pattenden cites several instances of children's authors with unconventional—or at least not squeaky clean—lifestyles. She points out that it's much easier to get away with that sort of thing if you also possess a level of celebrity that helps your books sell. Madonna, anyone?

Which I guess means that it's not really like Hollywood in the 1930's, where even the biggest star could be brought down by revelations of his or her peccadilloes. But it is still all about the money.

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