James Dashner, author of the “Maze Runner” dystopian fiction series, issued an apology addressing sexual harassment allegations made against him, admitting that he was “part of the problem” that led to #MeToo and Time’s Up movements.
“I have spent the recent days reexamining my actions and searching my soul,” Dashner wrote on Twitter. “Some of the things said about me have been shocking and my initial instinct was to be defensive. But I also have thought about how numerous women nowhere come forward as part of a vital movement to lead a discussion about sexual harassment and discrimination in the publishing industry. And I have talked with friends deeply immersed in the #MeToo and #TimesUp movement.”
He continued, saying he plans to “seek counseling and guidance” to address criticism and accusations.
“I believe all victims must be heard, and I’m committed to listening to them,” he said. “I’ve taken these past few days for introspection, to see if I’ve been part of the problem. I think that I have. I didn’t honor or fully understand boundaries and power dynamics. I can sincerely say that I have never intentionally hurt another person. But to those affected, I am so deeply sorry. I am taking any and all criticism and accusations very seriously, and I will seek counseling and guidance to address them. Thank you for listening.”
Dashner was also dropped by his agent, Michael W. Bourret, earlier this week. Bourret said in a statement that he “couldn’t, in good conscience, continue working with James” following the claims.
The allegations came to light in the comment section of the School Library Journal, a monthly magazine for librarians, where numerous users accused Dashner of harassment. Two women also named him in a piece on Medium.
Jay Asher, author of “13 Reasons Why,” was accused of harassment in the same comment thread, which prompted an investigation by the Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators. It led to Asher’s expulsion form the organization, though the author strongly denied the claims, and asserts that his membership in the organization is still active. A spokesperson confirmed that Asher had been dropped by the Andrea Brown agency.
Dashner’s “Maze Runner” book series is popular among young adults and inspired a trilogy of movies, the most recent of which, “Maze Runner: The Death Cure” was released on Jan. 26.