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Why everyone should be standing up to hate like Melinda Salisbury


At the end of last week, YA author Melinda Salisbury (the amazing brain behind ‘The Sin Eater’s Daughter’ and ‘The Sleeping Prince’) spoke out about her decision to cut all ties with The Daily Mail, Mail on Sunday, The Sun, Sun on Sunday, Daily or Sunday Express.untitled-design-25Mel has requested that her publishers, Scholastic, no longer submit her books for review or pitch her for interviews in these papers. Mel has been very vocal about her views on these establishments headlines choice of articles and has given her support for the Stop Funding Hate campaign which encourages brands to stop advertising in papers that promote division and intolerance.

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In her post on the Guardian Books blog explaining her decision, Mel said:

‘Acknowledging that there is a problem is usually the first step to solving it… like a wise man once said “if I were to remain silent, I would be guilt of complicity”. How can I write books which celebrate acceptance, international co-operation and tolerance, and also seek approval from organisations that promote the opposite? My actions needs to be as loud as my words.’ 

This is an incredibly brave move by Mel, who was inspired by LEGO pulling their advertisements in the Daily Mail and making a public statement about why they were doing it. And while it’s all well and good for a massive global brand like LEGO to do this, for an individual, relatively new author like Mel to speak out is a brave move.

There is a huge problem with lack of coverage and kids books in the UK media – The Daily Mail and The Sun are some of the few papers that regularly cover these genres. So Mel’s statement could very well paint a target on her back, and will certainly have a knock on effect on her publicity and as a result, sales of her books in the future. But Mel stayed true to her beliefs, even when it was not in her immediate ‘best interest’. And as she says, acknowledging the problem is half the battle. And who knows… maybe this will snowball and bring about some proper change. Look at the amazing results of the #NoMorePage3 campaign!

Mel is very proud of being a Slytherin, but she’s definitely showing some Gryffindor potential with this brave proclamation:

‘I want my books to be a safe place for everyone – regardless of their sex, gender, skin colour, religion, sexual orientation, physical or mental health. I want them to be stories that give hope of something better, and a world where the bad guys can be defeated. So I can’t and won’t accept the support of organisations that don’t believe the same.’

Mel inspires us to stick up for what we believe in, even if it may be ‘seemingly’ harmful to us. We’re so glad that Scholastic have not only agreed to do this but wholeheartedly support Mel in her decision. This is exactly why the YA community is go great! We believe very deeply in our held opinions and are willing to fight for them. But beyond speaking out on social media, it’s important to know that you are powerful as a consumer – every click on a paper’s website, follow on Twitter or purchase of their paper is an direct endorsement of everything they stand for. So please, if you see injustices going on around you or something you don’t agree with, channel Mel and call them out, both with your words and your actions.

Let us know what you think of Mel’s decision in the comments below. Will you be taking action in the #StopFundingHate movement?

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Written by Oliver Meakings

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