Senators Push For Answers on Amazon Book Ban

Amazon keeps quiet on new policy

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February 24, 2021

Four U.S. senators asked Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos for an explanation after his company removed the book When Harry Became Sally: Responding to the Transgender Moment by conservative scholar, Ryan T. Anderson, from all Amazon platforms.

In the letter, Sens. Marco Rubio (R., Fla.), Mike Lee (R., Utah), Mike Braun (R., Ind.), and Josh Hawley (R., Mo.) say that "Amazon has been unable to provide a sufficient explanation as to how Anderson’s book, which reached the top of two of Amazon's best-seller lists before it was even released in 2018, supposedly violated a vague, undefined ‘offensive content’ standard." They also note that "by removing this book from its marketplaces and services, Amazon has unabashedly wielded its outsized market share to silence an important voice merely for the crime of violating woke groupthink."

The sudden removal of Anderson’s book has caused a political firestorm. Amazon’s policies stated all book removals would be communicated to the author and publisher, but both Anderson and his publisher Encounter Books have stated Amazon has yet to contact them and refuses to respond to questions for clarification.

The letter from the senators asks Amazon to provide documentation regarding its new content policy, and whether the company considered banning the book upon its initial release in 2018.

The senators asked Bezos to respond no later than March 9, 2021.

Anderson said that as a result of the ban and subsequent publicity, When Harry Became Sally had sold out at Barnes and Noble.