Daniel Handler Apologizes for Woodson Remarks at NBA

Daniel Handler, AKA Lemony Snicket, made a huge faux pas at the National Book Awards. Handler remarked that he found out Jacqueline Woodson, who won the National Book Award for Young People’s Literature for her memoir Brown Girl Dreaming, was allergic to watermelon. Woodson is African-American and Twitter did not take kindly to Handler’s remarks.

Amid a barrage of complaints on Twitter, Daniel Handler apologized via his personal account:

My job at last night’s National Book Awards was to shine a light on tremendous writers, including Jacqueline Woodson and not to overshadow their achievements with my own ill-conceived attempts at humor. I clearly failed, and I’m sorry.

In addition to apologizing for making a racial joke the author of the popular Lemony Snicket series promised to make a $10,000 donation to We Need Diverse Books’ Indiegogo campaign.

For the next 24 hours, Handler will match all donations made to WNDB’s Indiegogo compaign up to $100,000. In addition to announcing his donation, Handler has expanded on his earlier apology, emphasizing that “My remarks on Wednesday night at #NBAwards were monstrously inappropriate and yes, racist. It would be heartbreaking for the #NBAwards conversation to focus on my behavior instead of great books. Brown Girl Dreaming is an amazing novel and we need more voices like Jacqueline Woodson.”

Get the full story at Publishers Weekly.

Photo: Robin Marchant/Getty Images

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