A literary agency owner has taken on the role of voluntary thought police to appease another Twitter mob.
Literary agent Colleen Oefelein worked for the Jennifer De Chiara Literary Agency in New York. Oefelein, according to Newsweek, tweeted in November that she had established accounts on Parler and Gab because, unlike Twitter and Facebook, they do not censor content. Oefelein never posted anything offensive on the Parler or Gab accounts. She appeared to be looking for authors to work with.
Someone on Twitter alerted De Chiara that Oefelein had the social media accounts. De Chiara swiftly fired her.
“The Jennifer De Chiara Literary Agency was distressed to discover this morning, January 25th, that one of our agents has been using the social media platforms Gab and Parler. We do not condone this activity, and we apologize to anyone who has been affected or offended by this,” De Chiara wrote. “The Jennifer De Chiara Literary Agency has in the past and will continue to ensure a voice of unity, equality, and one that is on the side of social justice.”
Unity! Equality! Social Justice! Oceania has always been at war with Eastasia…and cancel culture doesn’t exist despite the fact that it wrecks someone’s life every day. The fact that it continues canceling people we’d all never heard of yesterday makes it all the more disturbing.
“As of this morning, Colleen Oefelein is no longer an agent at The Jennifer De Chiara Literary Agency,” De Chiara’s Twitter thread concluded.
But she’s probably lawyering up.
De Chiara, the literary agent, has since proactively protected — keeping others from reading — her tweets on the Twitter feed she likely once used to find authors and promote the agency. If she had ignored the Twitter mob…?
This story is thick with irony. One would think literary agencies value free speech and also value initiative among staff. But in this moment of unity by conformity, free speech loses out to expediency and fear — even with a business that literally depends on free speech to survive. And courage dies a thousand times a day.