When writer Natasha Tynes publicly called out a Black woman transit employee for eating her breakfast on the train, social media outrage led to her losing her book deal. But now she’s suing her former publisher.
Last month, the author tweeted out a photo of D.C. metro employee because she was apparently breaking Washington, D.C. transportation rules by eating her breakfast on the train.
“When you’re on your morning commute & see @wmata employee in UNIFORM eating on the train,” Tynes tweeted. “I thought we were not allowed to eat on the train. This is unacceptable. Hope @wmata responds,” Tynes tweeted.
The award-winning Jordanian-American writer took the tweet down 30 minutes after posting it, according to the Washington Post.
Tynes’ distributor Rare Bird Books canceled her book deal after claims of racism. Now she is suing the publishing house for $13 million for defamation, breaching a contract and causing her “extreme emotional distress,” The Post reported.
“Black women face a constant barrage of this kind of inappropriate behavior directed toward them and a constant policing of their bodies,” Rare Bird Books tweeted in response to the authors tweet.
Rare Bird Books added that they have no interest in working with someone willing to “jeopardize a person’s safety and employment.”
The World Bank communications officer apologized for the “short-lived expression of frustration,” according to court documents.
The document goes on to explain that Tynes made no reference to race but acted out of frustration because she would have liked to enjoy “such privileges” and always assumed she would get a ticket for eating during her commute.
Although The Post reported that the transit employee would not be reprimanded for eating on the train, Tynes, who identifies as a person of color, has still received ongoing backlash for the tweet.
“#NatashaTynes could have just MINDED HER BUSINESS, but because the Black Metro worker didn’t COMPLY to her demands,” Twitter user @revlaurelj tweeted. “She tried to get her fired. It backfired. SHE KNEW because of her proximity to whiteness, she could use it to get the Black woman fired.”
The publisher has already began steps to cancel Tynes’ novel titled They Called Me Wyatt. Preorders for the book have also been canceled, The Post reported.
Since the tweet exploded Tynes has reportedly experienced suicidal thoughts, severe anxiety and death threats, according to The Post.