A Washington, D.C., author who lost her book deal after calling out a black female Metro worker on Twitter is now reportedly suing her publisher for $13 million due to “extreme emotional distress,” in a lawsuit filed Friday.
Natasha Tynes lost her book deal for her novel, “They Called Me Wyatt,” after she posted a since deleted tweet on May 10 complaining about a Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority employee eating while on the job. She filed the lawsuit against Rare Bird, her publisher, for $13 million due to induced “extreme emotional stress” and hurting her professional reputation, The Washington Post reported.
Her tweet read, “When you’re on your morning commute & see @wmata employee in UNIFORM eating on the train. I thought we were not allowed to eat on the train. This is unacceptable. Hope @wmata responds.”
Tynes deleted her tweet within 30 minutes after posting and proceeded to call the agency to ensure the worker was not reprimanded or fired because of her post, WaPo reported. Metro said it did not take any action against the employee.
Tynes, who is Jordanian American, then contacted Rare Bird, explaining that “having not grown up in the United States, the issue of race had not even occurred to her when she made the tweet,” according to the Post. Rare Bird executive Robert Jason Peterson responded to Tynes allegedly saying, “You’ll get through this, we’ve got your back.”
Rare Bird canceled the book deal after determining her tweet about the Metro worker was something “truly horrible.”View image on Twitter
Tynes was reportedly hospitalized for having an anxiety attack following her book’s cancellation and her employer placed her on administrative leave, the Post reported.
Tynes claimed in the lawsuit filed in California that she “did not police a black woman’s body,” “did not engage in any act of racism” and “took no action that could have possibly jeopardized anybody’s safety,” according to the Post.
“What Rare Bird has done to Natasha Tynes is just beyond abhorrent,” Tynes’ attorney William Moran said. “I’ve never seen a publisher throw an author under the bus like this before.”
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