Author John Green's Paper Towns is the coming-of-age story about Quentin Jacobsen, whose neighbor, Margo Roth Spiegelman, goes missing after they embark on an adventurous all-nighter. The book was adapted to the big screen and will make its motion picture debut, starring Nat Wolff and Cara Delevingne, on July 24. Naturally, this would be a time for the author to celebrate. However, on June 11, a Tumblr user by the name of virjin implicated that Green has sexually abused children."I bet john green thinks people don’t like him because he’s a 'dork' or a nerd or whatever when in reality it’s because he’s a creep who panders to teenage girls so that he can amass some weird cult-like following. [And] it’s always girls who feel misunderstood, you know, and he goes out of his way to make them feel important and desirable. [Which] is fucking? weird? It's difficult to tell what sparked such allegations, but Green quickly wrote a determined response in his self-defense: "You want me to defend myself against the implication that I sexually abuse children? Okay. I do not sexually abuse children. Throwing that kind of accusation around is sick and libelous and most importantly damages the discourse around the actual sexual abuse of children. When you use accusations of pedophilia as a way of insulting people whose work you don’t like, you trivialize abuse," he said. Green's response didn't stop there. You can read it in its entirety here. The author has also recently received even more backlash for the offensive language used in his novel. In the excerpt: "Sometimes he's so retarded that he becomes kind of brilliant," the use of the 'r-word' disappointed a multitude of fans. One reader took to Twitter to question Green's reasoning for using the term in a highly offensive manor. Green responded to that negative attention as well.
@Allyslikeastar Yeah, I regret it. At the time, I thought an author's responsibility was to reflect language as I found it, but now...— John Green (@johngreen) June 12, 2015
He subsequently shared two tweets to further express that there is no excuse for his language.
@Allyslikeastar ...eight years later, I don't feel like a book about humanizing the other benefited from dehumanizing language.— John Green (@johngreen) June 12, 2015
Finally, Green eased our concern once he confirmed that the 'r-word' is not in the film.
@Allyslikeastar It's not in the movie, and I won't use the word again in a book or elsewhere.— John Green (@johngreen) June 12, 2015
Once upon a time the only way fans or critics were able to communicate with writers, filmmakers, and celebrities was through snail mail. Today, thanks to the various forms of instant communication, it's much easier for both positive and negative responses to go viral. Green's alleged sexual abuse has yet to be confirmed. If there's one thing to see positively, it's his seemingly genuine understanding of the negative effects using the 'r-word' can have. Here's to the term being completely abolished from our vocabularies, sooner rather than later.
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