This Day In Crime History

November 14, 1990: Simon & Schuster Drops 'American Psycho' From Its Publishing Roster

Author Bret Easton Ellis later received death threats because of the book.

On November 14, 1990, esteemed publishing company Simon & Schuster decided to drop the controversial and ultra-violent novel "American Psycho" from its pipeline. The book, about an impossibly vain serial killer, would eventually be published by Vintage Books and would go on to inspire the cult movie of the same name.

Simon & Schuster cited “aesthetic differences” as the reason for dropping the bloody story from its roster, cancelling its production just a few months before the book was supposed to be sold in stores.

"I just decided it was an error in judgment to put our name on a book of such questionable taste, and that's when I decided we wouldn't publish it,” Richard E. Snyder, the company chairman, said at the time.

Snyder’s decision caused outrage within the literary community: "When a corporate executive like Richard Snyder or Martin Davis can censor an author based on their tastes or morality, society is taking one more giant leap toward corporate control of the world,” said The National Writers Union president Jonathan Tasini.

The outrageous material in the novel also led to author Bret Easton Ellis receiving numerous death threats.

[Photo: Lionsgate Films]

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