Tuesday, July 16, 2013

How one Twitter user put an end to George Zimmerman Juror B37's book deal

It has only been a few days since the George Zimmerman verdict has come in (not guilty, for those not paying attention), and the rush to a book seemed fast and furious -- on Monday, less than 48 hours after the verdict was announced, so was the book deal. Faster still was the reaction of Twitter and the Internet, and by later Monday, the deal was off.

The agent who picked up Juror B37 as a client was none other than Sharlene Martin, who is also known as the "Jerry Maguire of literary agents," according to one testimonial on Martin's own website. She might also be called the "ambulance chaser of literary agents," as you might recognize her as the agent who represented authors of books related to the O.J. Simpson murder trial, the Amanda Knox murder trial, the Long Island Lolita scandal, the kidnapping of Jessica Buchanan, and on and on and on.

To be clear, it wasn't just any Twitter user who squashed the deal, but Cocky McSwagsalot (@MoreAndAgain). The story, so to speak, of how the book deal was squashed is told via a number tweets, and nothing else. In short, though, what happened is that McSwagsalot eventually shared Martin's contact information including phone number, email address, and mailing location in an attempt to flood her with complaints.

She also created a Change.org petition, which rapidly garnered more than 1,000 signatures and shows 1,346 signatures at the time of this writing (it is now closed).

Soon thereafter, both Martin and Juror B37 issued separate statements announcing that the cancellation of the book deal. Martin said:
After careful consideration regarding the proposed book project with Zimmerman Juror B37, I have decided to rescind my offer of representation in the exploration of a book based upon this case.
Juror B37 said:
I realize it was necessary for our jury to be sequestered in order to protest our verdict from unfair outside influence, but that isolation shielded me from the depth of pain that exists among the general public over every aspect of this case. The potential book was always intended to be a respectful observation of the trial from my and my husband’s perspectives solely and it was to be an observation that our ‘system’ of justice can get so complicated that it creates a conflict with our "spirit" of justice.

Now that I am returned to my family and to society in general, I have realized that the best direction for me to go is away from writing any sort of book and return instead to my life as it was before I was called to sit on this jury.
The Internet rose up and applauded McSwagsalot. Even Questlove, the drummer for the Roots, praised her with a tweet that said:
Thank you @MoreAndAgain for leading the effort to get #JurorB37’s book deal dropped.
McSwagsalot took that all in stride, with a final tweet on the matter:
Juror B37's book is nixed and Questlove tweeted me. I'm over the moon. Today is canceled. LMAO





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