Author Natasha Tynes’s book deal appears to be in jeopardy days after igniting a firestorm on social media when she criticized a black Metro employee for eating on the train and reported the woman to transit officials.
Tynes, a Jordanian-American writer and World Bank employee in Washington, tweeted a photo of the Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority employee in uniform, eating on the Red Line on Friday.
The author tagged the WMATA account, reporting that when she confronted the woman for breaking Metro rules, the woman told her to “worry about yourself,” reports The Washington Post.
“When you’re on your morning commute & see @wmata employee in UNIFORM eating on the train,” Tynes tweeted. “I thought we were not allowed to eat on the train. This is unacceptable. Hope @wmata responds.”
Tynes was branded “Natasha the Snitch” by black Twitter.
I thought her book title needed a little reworking. pic.twitter.com/hdasfMCr2K
— Pinky McGoo (@AckTivity) May 10, 2019
Two different publishers issued statements distancing themselves from Tynes after the tweet.
“Black women face a constant barrage of this kind of inappropriate behavior directed toward them and a constant policing of their bodies,” Rare Bird publishing wrote in a statement. “We think this is unacceptable and have no desire to be involved with anyone who thinks it’s acceptable to jeopardize a person’s safety and employment in this way. We are currently taking appropriate actions to cancel Ms. Tynes’ novel They Called Me Wyatt, within our distribution network, and are strongly urging Tynes’ publisher, California Coldblood, to consider other appropriate actions.”
California Coldblood Books also put out a statement.
“We do not condone her actions and hope Natasha learns from this experience that black women feel the effects of systematic racism the most and that we have to be allies, not oppressors,” they said.
“We’re halting all shipments from the warehouse and postponing the book’s publication date while we further discuss appropriate next steps to officially cancel the book’s publication,” added Bob Peterson, founder, director and lead editor of California Coldblood Books told The Root.