Eden Connor addresses ‘bro’ tone on The Hustle & other problems with John Havel’s piece

Eden Connor addresses ‘bro’ tone on The Hustle & other problems with John Havel’s piece

Eden Connor’s rebuttal to John Havel’s piece at The Hustle is boss. But you’ll have to give the site hits to read it.

The Hustle is on the ball about courting page hits, I’ll give them that. It’s not a bad thing, per se. It’s the currency of the blogging world, so I understand. By now, I’m a little cynical about why they decided to post a rebuttal piece addressing John Havel’s problematic Amazon experiment, but as the rebuttal is actually very good, I’ll give props where it’s due. Author Eden Connor’s piece is pretty great, and she tackles the problems with Havel’s article and approach head-on. She also explains why references to ‘jungle fever’ were extremely troublesome.

So, what was really accomplished here? You stole a book from someone, and in doing so, opened yourself and your publication to a lawsuit. You insulted every romance writer I know, and slung an extra measure of dung on the writer of color, writing in the interracial romance category, who checks her Amazon account and knows damn good and well that if she’d made both her characters Caucasian — or made up a profile purporting to be a white, middle aged woman — her books would reach a wider audience.

I particularly love this burn:

Thanks to a thing called the internet, we can now run you to ground and call you out for what you are. Turning off comments and switching Twitter links won’t save you, either. The first thing any entrepreneur learns is to not insult people as a matter of course.

Kudos to The Hustle for publishing the rebuttal. But minus points for some of Sam Parr’s comments on this site that basically amount to the old (and tired and unproven) argument that plagiarism in this case benefited the author by generating sales. That is douchey language, and undermines their otherwise seemingly in-good-faith apologies.


  1. Kaetrin says:

    I tried to post a comment on The Hustle.Co but their crappy comment system is FB only.

    Mr. Parr seems to be doing his level best to undermine what I thought was a relatively decent apology from Mr. Havel, by blame-shifting and making (poor) excuses.

    Here’s a question: If someone else uses an offensive term, be they a private citizen or a business, how does that excuse The Hustle’s use of it?

    Answer: It doesn’t.

    It doesn’t matter who else said it, or who said it first. That excuse didn’t wash when I was a child and it certainly doesn’t for adults.

  2. Athena Grayson says:

    Eden Connor’s piece was fine. Do not think we did not notice, The Hustle, how you put the image of the angry woman right at the big ol’ top of the page of her article. I see what you did there.

    I also see, Mr. Parr, what you keep doing in the comments sections of this site’s articles explaining why you were wrong to do what you did. You are not helping your case for either your site’s reputability or your credentials in helping launch tech startups, because you are very much demonstrating what not to do when your startup finds itself in the middle of an internet dust-up. Better organizations with more benign honest mistakes than you have disintegrated through behavior like this.

    But I can’t be sure this whole thing wasn’t an epic troll in the first place. Five seconds of googling would have shown that plagiarism creates a sh!tstorm of (justified) outrage on the internets of bookdom. What better way to blow up the pagecounts of your obscure site than to create a viral outrage-storm and count on its attendant fallout to drive (actual) journalists to your site for fact-checking and research purposes. If that’s the case, then well-played, dudebros. You may now put “social media guru” on your LinkedIn profiles.

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