Junot Díaz Accused Of #MeToo Misconduct

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Rebecca Renner

Staff Writer

Rebecca Renner is a writer and editor out of South Florida. Her essays have been featured in the Washington Post, New York Magazine, and Glamour. A seventh-generation Floridian, Rebecca's main area of study has been the ecology, culture, and downright weirdness of her home. When not reading, hiking, blogging, traveling, exploring, or playing with her dog Daisy Buchanan (and never sleeping!), Rebecca binge watches TV shows like The Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt and plots world domination via Twitter. Twitter: @RebeccaRennerFL Blog:

Zinzi Clemmons, author of novel What We Lose, accused Junot Díaz of cornering and kissing her. The accusation was made on Twitter early May 4, with several other writers chiming in.

In Clemmons’s original tweet, she says, “As a grad student, I invited Junot Diaz to speak to a workshop on issues of representation in literature. I was an unknown wide-eyed 26 yo, and he used it as an opportunity to corner and forcibly kiss me. I’m far from the only one he’s done this 2, I refuse to be silent anymore.”

Revelations were also made by Carmen Maria Machado, author of Her Body and Other Parties, that illuminate Diaz’s unhealthy views towards women.

In response to Clemmons’s original tweet, Machado writes: “During his tour for THIS IS HOW YOU LOSE HER, Junot Díaz did a Q&A at the grad program I’d just graduated from. When I made the mistake of asking him a question about his protagonist’s unhealthy, pathological relationship with women, he went off for me for twenty minutes.”

In a string of tweets, Machado elaborates: “He asked me to back up my claim with evidence. I cited several passages from the book in front of me. He raised his voice, paced, implied I was a prude who didn’t know how to read or draw reasonable conclusions from text.”

“That night, I went to his reading at a local venue,” Machado tweeted. “When he got up after his introduction, he said, “Today, someone complained that there was too much cheating in this book. This is for them.” Then he read the stories/passages I’d cited hours earlier.”

“In the intervening years, I’ve heard easily a dozen stories about fucked-up sexual misconduct on his part and felt weirdly lucky that all (“all”) I got was a blast of misogynist rage and public humiliation.”

“And it sucks for a very particular reason: people of color are so underrepresented in publishing, we have deep attachments to those who succeed. People are defensive about JD because there are so few high-profile Latinx authors. I get it. That doesn’t change the facts.”

“Junot Díaz is a widely lauded, utterly beloved misogynist. His books are regressive and sexist. He has treated women horrifically in every way possible. And the  stories are just starting. ¯\_(ツ)_/¯”

Others on Twitter speculate that Diaz’s widely read April New Yorker essay “The Silence: The Legacy of Childhood Trauma,” was in part an attempt to deflect blame from future allegations.

In the essay, he says that he “hurt women.”

Writer Clarkisha Kent sums it up pretty well: “I hadn’t been keeping up w/ Junot Díaz recently. But to hear that he’d written some article for the New Yorker in April, confessing that “he hurt women” & finding out that it was probably a preemptive cover for the misogyny & assault he’s committed against them is reprehensible.”

As of this writing, no official charges have been filed. The story, so far, is unfolding on Twitter.