John Green, the author behind best-selling young adult novels The Fault in Our Stars and Paper Towns took to his Tumblr page on Friday, June 12, to rip allegations of sexual abuse brought against him via social media.
"I bet John Green thinks people don’t like him because he’s a 'dork' or a nerd or whatever," one user wrote on Tumblr. "When in reality it’s because he’s a creep who panders to teenage girls so that he can amass some weird cult-like following."
The same user referenced the leading heroines in his books, writing: "It’s always girls who feel misunderstood, you know, and he goes out of his way to make them feel important and desirable. which is f---ing? weird?"
Green, 37, who is very active on Facebook, YouTube, Twitter, and other social media platforms, was also called out for his interactions with fans. "Also he has a social media presence that is equivalent to that dad of a kid in your friend group who always volunteers to 'supervise' the pool parties and scoots his lawn chair close to all the girls," the person wrote. "Also his writing is some booboo... Lets get this enough notes so he has to address it and try to defend himself lmao."
And defend himself he did. "You want me to defend myself against the implication that I sexually abuse children?" the best-selling author sniped back in his note. "Okay. I do not sexually abuse children. Throwing that kind of accusation around is sick and libelous and most importantly damages the discourse around the actual sexual abuse of children. When you use accusations of pedophilia as a way of insulting people whose work you don’t like, you trivialize abuse."
Green claimed that the issue was far more entrenched than many realize. "I’m tired of seeing the language of social justice–important language doing important work–misused as a way to dehumanize others and treat them hatefully," he wrote. "So we all seek (and seek to share) the jolt that accompanies outrage and anger. As studies have shown, the complicated dopamine rush that comes with righteous indignation is very powerful, and I’m indulging it simply by responding to the outrageous accusation that my work is somehow evidence of sexual abuse."
He noted: "Too often the Internet moves from jolt to jolt, from hatred to hatred, ever more convinced of our own righteousness and the world’s evil. And getting caught up in that is very painful. I realize that will seem privileged to many of you (and it is), or like an excuse (maybe it’s that too), or lacking in empathy (maybe so), and I’m sure there is plenty here to deconstruct and reveal my various shortcomings (which are legion). But this stops being a productive place for me to be in conversations if I’m not allowed to be wrong, if my apologies are not acknowledged alongside my misdeeds, and if I’m not treated like a person."
Despite the accusations, Green wrote that he was thankful for his career — and the "many nerd fighter communities" that show him support. "Also, I’m not angry or anything like that. I just need some distance for my well-being," he wrote. "Thanks for reading. DFTBA. EDIT: To be clear, sending hate to people who say this stuff is counter-productive and only continues the outrage cycle, so please don’t abuse anyone. Thanks."
The film adaptation of Green's best-selling book, The Fault in Our Stars, featuring Shailene Woodley and Ansel Elgort, was a blockbuster hit in 2014. This past April, 23-year-old Woodley made Green cry at the 2015 MTV Movie Awards, when she delivered an incredibly sweet speech about the author.
"I feel like this award belongs to John Green," Woodley said while accepting the Best Female Performance honor. "Who I'm staring at right now, because he gave this world a beautiful masterpiece: A gift in the book The Fault in Our Stars... It changed my life when I read it, and being a part of his film dramatically influenced who I am today. His words will transcend time, because they transcend any age. There's not one single demographic that won't be affectedly the wisdom and the compassion and the beauty that he laces into every single thing that he does in his life."
The film adaptation of his next book, Paper Towns, starring Cara Delevingne and Nat Wolff, will be released in theaters on July 24.