Penguin Random House Canada has contracted with psychology professor Jordan Peterson to release his forthcoming book, “Beyond Order: 12 More Rules For Life,” on March 2021. But the development has reportedly also upset some staffers at the publishing house.
According to Vice News, which spoke to four employees at Penguin Random House Canada, the publishing house held a town-hall style meeting where staff members aired their grievances about Peterson and the upcoming book; some even cried about it.
One employee told Vice that “people were crying in the meeting about how Jordan Peterson has affected their lives” and noted that one person at the meeting also claimed that their father had been radicalized by the self-help professor.
“The company since June has been doing all these anti-racist and allyship things and them publishing Peterson’s book completely goes against this. It just makes all of their previous efforts seem completely performative,” said the employee.
In an interview with Vice, another employee called Peterson “an icon of white supremacy,” and as such, suggested that the content of his book doesn’t matter.
“He is an icon of hate speech and transphobia and the fact that he’s an icon of white supremacy, regardless of the content of his book, I’m not proud to work for a company that publishes him,” the employee told the news agency.
The Penguin Random House Canada diversity and inclusion committee has also received a minimum of 70 responses from employees about the “12 Rules” sequel, according to another employee. Only two of those messages were in support of the book.
After Vice News reported on the internal strife ripping through Penguin Random House Canada, Mikhaila Peterson, the psychology professor’s daughter, took a page from her father and coined two new rules for the publishing house to use to improve operations.
“How to improve business in 2 steps: Step 1: identify crying adults. Step 2: fire,” tweeted Mikhaila Peterson on Tuesday evening.
“… staff CRIED and expressed dismay with the decision to publish ‘Beyond Order: 12 More Rules for Life.’”
How to improve business in 2 steps:
Step 1: identify crying adults
Step 2: fire
Penguin Staff Confront Publisher About New Jordan Peterson Book – https://t.co/hFBJPS2SmA
— Mikhaila Peterson (@MikhailaAleksis) November 24, 2020
Penguin Random House told Vice News in a statement on Tuesday: “We announced yesterday that we will publish Jordan Peterson’s new book Beyond Order this coming March. Immediately following the announcement, we held a forum and provided a space for our employees to express their views and offer feedback. Our employees have started an anonymous feedback channel, which we fully support. We are open to hearing our employees’ feedback and answering all of their questions. We remain committed to publishing a range of voices and viewpoints.”
Peterson, who recently revealed his return to public life following health issues in his family, offered a glimpse into “Beyond Order: 12 More Rules For Life” earlier this week by reading from the book’s introduction in a YouTube video posted on Tuesday. He also gave an overview of the twelve rules presented in the upcoming book, which he said “explores as its overarching theme how the dangers of too much security and control might be profitably avoided.”
“As we discover when things we are striving to control nonetheless go wrong around us, we need to keep one foot within order while stretching the other tentatively into the beyond,” continued Peterson. “And so, we are driven to explore and find the deepest of meanings in standing on the frontier, secure enough to keep our fear under control, but learning, constantly learning, as we face what we have not yet made peace with or adapted to. It is this instinctive meaning, something far deeper than mere thought, that orients us properly in life so that we do not become overwhelmed by what is beyond us, or equally dangerously, stultified and stunted by dated, too narrow, or too pridefully paraded systems of value and belief.”