Natasha Tynes, the author who lost her book deal after calling out a black female D.C. Metro employee for eating on the train by posting her photo on Twitter, is suing her publisher for $13 million, Buzzfeed News reports.
In the lawsuit, Tynes alleges that the California-based publisher Rare Bird Books breached its contract and defamed her with false public statements, which led to “extreme emotional distress.” The suit claims that she was hospitalized after suffering chest pains and anxiety attacks and that she and her family had to flee the United States temporarily because of death threats.
Shortly after Tynes posted—and then deleted—the viral May 10 tweet, Rare Bird Books dropped a statement in a tweet of its own, saying that it was aware that Tynes had “did something truly horrible” when she tweeted out the photo of the black Metro employee eating her breakfast.
“Black women face a constant barrage of this kind of inappropriate behavior directed toward them and a constant policing of their bodies,” the statement continued. “We think this is unacceptable and have no desire to be involved with anyone who thinks it’s acceptable to jeopardize a person’s safety and employment in this way.”
Fortunately, the Metro worker, who was “humiliated” by all the attention Tynes’ tweet brought her, didn’t face any disciplinary action from her job.
According to the lawsuit, Tyne—who issued a tepid apology on Twitter before deactivating her account—explained to her publisher that “having not grown up in the United States, the issue of race had not even occurred to her when she made the tweet.” Which is funny, considering Tynes, who is Jordanian American, was really leaning into that whole person-of-color thing to market her book (which will not be named in this space):
Anyway, after all the drama died down, California Coldblood—a division of Rare Bird Books with arguably the coolest name in publishing—ultimately said it would go ahead with the publication of Tynes’ book—but only on Kindle’s self-publishing format, Buzzfeed notes—because of its “contractual obligations,” stating in a tweet that after it recoups production and legal costs, it would donate the book’s proceeds to the Movement for Black Lives Matter or similar organizations.
But that didn’t stop Tynes from filing the suit, claiming that the publishing company subjected “an immigrant woman of color to this racial torment for their own personal profit.”
Is she really playing the race card?!?