Amélie Wen Zhao's "Blood Heir" Cancellation

Amélie Wen Zhao's "Blood Heir" Cancellation

Updated Feb 03, 2019 at 06:50PM EST by 3kole5.

Added Jan 31, 2019 at 06:42PM EST by Don.

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Amélie Wen Zhao's "Blood Heir" Cancellation refers to an online controversy surrounding the cancellation of the young adult novel Blood Heir by Amélie Wen Zhao in late January 2019. The cancellation occurred amid criticisms of Zhao's depiction of slavery shown in advance copies of the novel.


On January 25th, 2018, Zhao published an announcement on her official blog[6] that she sold a three-book deal to Delacorte Press. Blood Heir, the first book in the series, was subsequently scheduled to be released in June 2019. After advance copies of book were released, reviews criticizing the book's depicting of slavery were posted on the website GoodReads.[8] On January 24th, 2019, Twitter user @heidiheilig posted a tweet criticizing an unnamed author, claiming they were "shit talking other authors of color" (shown below). That day, Twitter user @LegallyPaige[7] tweeted that Zhao was "gathering screenshots of people who don't/didn't like her book and giving off Kathleen Hale vibes." The tweet has since been deleted.


On January 30th, Zhao posted an apology tweet, stating that it was not her "intention to bring harm to any reader" and that she asked her publisher to refrain from publishing the novel (shown below). Within 48 hours, the tweet gained over 1,500 likes and 180 retweets.


Online Reaction

Also on January 30th, writer Jesse Singal tweeted about the controversy, saying Zhao was being "raked over the coals by the community despite a near-total lack of evidence she has done anything to deserve it." In response, Twitter user @PrincessaBelAir accused Zhao of plagiarizing from The Lord of the Rings (shown below).

On January 31st, the Comics Matter w/ Ya Boi Zack YouTube channel uploaded a video about the controversy (shown below).

News Media Coverage

On January 31st, The New York Times[1] published an article titled "Y.A. Author Pulls Her Debut After Pre-Publication Accusations of Racism."

In the coming days, several news sites published articles about the online controversy, including Reason,[2] NY Daily News,[3] Vulture[4] and TabletMag.[5]

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