Writers’ Union Censors Itself After Editor Challenges Leftist ‘Cultural Appropriation’ Doctrine

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Facebook / Hal Niedzviecki

The Writers’ Union of Canada describes its mission as “promot[ing] the rights, freedoms, and economic well-being of all writers.” Yet when an editor for their official magazine defended the right of white authors to create characters from different cultural backgrounds, he was forced to resign.

Hal Niedzviecki was the editor of Write, the WUC’s official magazine. In a recent op-ed, he challenged the leftist concept of “cultural appropriation,” a culturally segregationist idea that suggests everything from setting a fictional story in a non-western setting to wearing a sombrero to a Cinco de Mayo celebration, if done by a westerner, constitute the unjust “appropriation” of a foreign culture.

In an article for the magazine earlier this month, Niedzviecki said he did not agree with the concept.

“In my opinion, anyone, anywhere, should be encouraged to imagine other peoples, other cultures, other identities” wrote Niedzviecki.

“I’d even go so far as saying there should be an award for doing so – the Appropriation Prize for best book by an author who writes about people who aren’t remotely like her or him.”

The piece triggered outrage from leftists on social media. According to the CBC, one activist said she “can’t even” and was “literally shaking” as a result of Niedzviecki’s essay. In her Twitter profile, she describes herself as a “writer” a “feminist” and a “messy b*tch.”

Another contributor to the magazine, Joshua Whitehead, reportedly said he “couldn’t get over” the piece.

In response to the tweetstorm, the Writers’ Union issued a grovelling apology. Niedzviecki also resigned as editor of the magazine.

As usual, the apology was not enough for some of the social media offendatrons.

Others were quick to demand reparations.

The resignation of Write’s editor, as well as the apology, also triggered a reaction from free speech defenders.


Cultural appropriation has become a hot subject of debate in the literary world. Last year, Lionel Shriver attracted controversy after she wore a sombrero to her keynote speech at the Brisbane Writers’ Festival, where she argued strongly against the idea of cultural appropriation.

In her speech, Shriver, otherwise known as a left-leaning author, said she was “hopeful that the concept of ‘cultural appropriation’ is a passing fad.”

In Canada at least, the fad does not appear to have passed yet. The Writers’ Union of Canada, meant to be a guardian of free literary expression, has effectively censored itself.

You can follow Allum Bokhari on Twitter and add him on Facebook. Email tips and suggestions to abokhari@breitbart.com.


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