Publisher 'alarmed' by emails after rejecting Gerald Stanley book pitch
Gerald Stanley was acquitted last month in death of Saskatchewan man Colten Boushie
A publishing house won't be intimidated by the hateful emails which have arrived since rejecting a book pitch from Saskatchewan farmer Gerald Stanley, says a spokesperson.
"We were somewhat alarmed...Certainly, this is an intimidation tactic to silence opponents," said David Molenhuis, publicist for Toronto-based Between the Lines.
Stanley was acquitted last month of all charges in the death of Red Pheasant Cree Nation man Colten Boushie. The trial attracted attention across Canada.
In a statement last week, Between the Lines said it had been approached by Stanley's lawyers to consider a book telling Stanley's side of the story. An editorial committee for the publisher decided it would not consider the request.
Molenhuis said they've been inundated with emails from those identifying themselves as Stanley supporters. Some say the publisher is stoking racial divides by speaking out. Others are critical of what they see as censorship by the publisher or its Eastern Canadian biases.
"...quite frankly, we give a rip about what people and publishers like you in your ill-informed skyscrapers in Toronto think about us here," reads one email released by Between the Lines.
Others are more hostile and repeat many stereotypes about Indigenous people. One says Boushie was the "architect of his own demise."
Molenhuis said they were surprised by the volume and intensity of the response, but he doesn't regret speaking publicly about it.
"Our decision has only been reinforced," he said.
Other publishers take a different approach. John Agnew of Coteau Books said last week he'd first look at a manuscript before making a decision.
"We make decisions on whether or not we're going to publish a book for a number of reasons. I don't think we go into the process thinking who has the right to a book and who doesn't," Agnew said.
Scott Spencer, Stanley's lawyer, said last week that his office has made inquiries on Stanley's behalf to see if there was any interest in publishing all the facts, fairly and objectively.
Stanley felt that throughout the legal process, there was a lot of misinformation circulating, according to his lawyer.
"Gerry believed that once the facts came out at trial that the misinformation would stop and that any public discussion would be based on facts and evidence," Spencer said in a statement. "However, that has not been the case."