When I first heard of the effort to boycott any books or movies connected to Casey Anthony, her family or her defense team, I thought that it was a good idea. Who wanted the person responsible for Caylee Anthony’s death or her allies to make money off of it? There were a few people who indicated that I should be donating all the proceeds from my book to a missing child non-profit or to Texas Equusearch. I didn’t think they understood my job and how I earned a living but that was okay. If they didn’t want to buy my book, that was their choice.
After the verdict, however, it seemed to take a shift that struck me as unfair, hypocritical and bizarre. Many boycott proponents were saying that anyone who wrote a book was taking blood money. That bugged me a lot. After all, my book, Mommy’s Little Girl, came out in November 2009. I wrote it as a voice for Caylee, an exploration of the truth and a cry for justice.
I didn’t really mind that some people didn’t want to buy my book. I’m not delusional enough to think that everyone would or should. It did bother me, though, that they were dumping me into the same category as Casey, her parents and Jose Baez. That seemed blatantly unfair.
All of the people calling for the boycott of my book had been following the news. News outlets all over the country–newspapers, television and radio–were indirectly benefiting from Caylee’s death through increased readership, viewership, internet clicks and listener cumes. What made it okay for them to report the news but wrong for me? It struck me as hypocritical. If these boycotters had held those forms of media to the same standard as they were now holding me, they would know nothing about the case and wouldn’t be able to organize a boycott against the Anthony machine’s attempts to get book and movie deals.
Since Mommy’s Little Girl was the only published book in the marketplace for quite some time, I alone bore the burden of being lumped in with the most hated woman in America even though I paid nothing to the Anthonys or Baez. Then, new book announcements came out–Imperfect Justice: Prosecuting Casey Anthony by Jeff Ashton, a member of the prosecution team trying to put Casey behind bars and Inside the Mind of Casey Anthony by psychologist Keith Ablow. And now, these same diehard boycotting folks want no one to buy their books, either. They think they are being consistent but it seems pretty clear to me that they are being unfair and hypocritical.
There are a lot of people in the boycott community who are not that rigid and inflexible. They seem to apply a bit more common sense to this highly emotional case. They understand my motives for writing my book, they want to buy Ashton’s book and they are interested in the psychological analysis made by Ablow.
They also understand that they followed this case avidly, know many details and are fervently convinced of Casey’s guilt; but realize that not everyone has the information they have and that now, in light of the undesirable verdict, they want books out there telling the unvarnished truth so that the jury’s voice is not the final word.
All I ever wanted was justice for Caylee and being attacked by people who agree with me strikes me as flat-out bizarre. I imagine Ashton and Ablow are both scratching their heads over that inconsistency, too.