Publishers scared of cancel culture made me rewrite my book, says Anthony Horowitz

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Horowitz said afterwards that he needed to do a “fairly extensive” rewrite. He was asked to remove jokes related to “usual-isms” because editors were concerned that some of his jokes “could be misinterpreted in the current climate”.

He continued: “The stark contrast created by social media, whereby something is either very good or very bad, but there is nothing in between, leads to a culture of fear.

“That’s the biggest issue. It’s not about cancellation. It’s not about anger. It’s about the fear that all creatives now have to feel if they’re going to write.

“I believe that writers should not be intimidated. We shouldn’t be made to do things because we’re so afraid of starting a storm on Twitter.

“How can we get out of this? Look at Ricky Gervais, for starters. Look at some of the daring people and just realize that all those shrill voices are amplified by social media, but in reality they have nothing to say.

Horowitz also spoke about his son, Cass, who is special adviser to Rishi Sunak, the chancellor.

Explaining that his politics had shifted to the left since Brexit, Horowitz joked: “My son, who is in government, has gone much more to the right. It should be the other way around, right? Old people are supposed to be more to the right and young people are supposed to be more to the left.

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