Back in the summer of 2016, a young writer named Art Tavana wrote a controversial appreciation of pop singer Sky Ferreira for the LA Weekly.
“Sky Ferreira has a name that reads like a turbocharged Italian sports car, or the kindred spirit to second-generation Italian-American pop star Madonna, the most ambitious woman to ever wear a pink cone bra. Both Sky and Madonna have similar breasts in both cup size and ability to cause a shitstorm… America has already established that Ferreira looks a lot like Madonna, but we almost never have the audacity to admit that her looks offer the most appeal to the American consumer.
To pretend looks don’t matter in pop music is ridiculous. Looks matter, they always will.”
Tavana then went on to describe how Ferreira had moved past this idea: “She’s too nasty to be anyone’s schoolgirl fantasy. . . . She’s the pop star who’s so personally cool that her record label, Capitol, doesn’t need to hire a team to mold her.”
Tavana praised Ferreira as a fashion icon and an accomplished actress and related how she was hated by elitist snobs in the indie scene and decried by feminists when she refused to condemn the photographer Terry Richardson, an accused pornographer and misogynist, adding that she never let her past history of sexual abuse define her. Tavana also pointed out how pop stars profit off their beauty, and that their sexual allure attracts fans. The piece reminded me of how when Blondie broke through, so many guys in my high school who hadn’t been particularly interested in New Wave suddenly started drooling over Deborah Harry and turned into big fans of it all, even ignoring previous favorites like the Eagles and Foreigner. The same thing happened again with Patty Smyth and Scandal, and later on with Susannah Hoffs and the Bangles. But this looks-ism goes back to Elvis Presley’s beauty and to the Beatles and Mick Jagger and Jim Morrison and Sting and every single boy band that ever existed, yet somehow there’s still something different about these male and female narratives.
Women are looked at and judged and appropriated or demeaned a lot more frequently than men will ever be, but in an era driven by the dreaded idea of inclusivity for everyone, no matter what, beauty now seems threatening, a separator, a divider, instead of just a natural thing: people who are admired and desired for their looks, individuals stepping away from the herd and being worshipped for their beauty. For many of us this is a reminder of our own physical inadequacies in the face of what our culture defines as sexy, beautiful, hot—and yes, men will be men, boys will be boys, and dudes will be dudes, and nothing’s ever going to change that. But to pretend that looks and hotness, whether you’re a guy or a girl, shouldn’t make you popular is one of those sad stances that can make you question the validity, or the reality, of this cult of inclusivity. Tavana’s ode to Sky Ferreira might not have been especially well written, though it was clearly an honest account by a man who was looking at a woman he might have desired and writing about that desire, even as it overshadowed what he thought about her music. So the question became: What if he’s honest about objectifying her?
I wondered when liberal progressives had become such society matrons, clutching their pearls in horror every time anyone had an opinion that wasn’t the mirror image of their own.
Social justice warriors from LAist, Flavorwire, Jezebel, Teen Vogue, and Vulture couldn’t let this innocuous piece go unnoticed without throwing hissy fits, and so pissed-off and supposedly offended that they were obliged to denounce Art Tavana. When reading similar pieces by young journalists, some of whom should’ve known better, I wondered when liberal progressives had become such society matrons, clutching their pearls in horror every time anyone had an opinion that wasn’t the mirror image of their own. The high moral tone seized by social justice warriors, and increasingly an unhinged Left, is always out of scale with whatever they’re actually indignant about, and I wasn’t surprised that this hideous and probably nerve-racking tendency had begun to create an authoritarian language police. Teen Vogue found the use of “boobs” and “knockers” misogynistic and lodged a rather insipid complaint about the male gaze. Whenever I hear an objection to the male gaze—hoping that it will . . . what? Go away, get rerouted, become contained—I automatically think, “Are people really this deluded and deranged or haven’t they had a date in the last ten years?” The writer piping up in Teen Vogue about Tavana’s insensitive misogyny then lectured us that women needed to be respected and not judged by their looks—and yes, the irony was delicious coming from Teen Vogue—and it sounded pretty childish, as did all the other commentators across social media by saying he’d “reduced a woman’s art to whether you want to fuck her or not” or, more directly, “You’re trash—fuck you.” (I couldn’t help but wonder what Joan Didion would have made of all this.) There was also the suggestion in some of these pieces that Tavana knew exactly what he was doing—inciting feminist hysteria to see if these people would take the bait, and that maybe he didn’t find Ferreira attractive at all, which was what he hinted at later when questioned about the piece. But, of course, they always take the bait.
I also kept wondering, throughout that week in the summer of 2016, what if all I wanted to do was bang Nick Jonas (a question still) and maybe wrote a 1,500-word ode, talking about his chest and his ass and his dumb-sexy face and the fact I didn’t really like his music—would that have been a dis on Nick? Or what if a woman wanted to write about how she really hated Drake’s music but found him so physically hot and desirable that she was lusting for him anyway? Where would that put her? Where would that put me? Would either of these pieces raise any eyebrows? Were we then equal? No, not even close, because in our culture social justice warriors always prefer women to be victims. The responses from Jezebel and Flavorwire and Teen Vogue all recast Ferreira as a victim, reinforcing her (supposed) violation at the hands of a male writer—the usual hall-of-mirrors loop people find themselves in when looking for something, anything, to get angry about, and one where they can occasionally, eventually, get tripped up. The reality is that men look at women, and men look at other men, and women look at men, and women especially size up other women and objectify them. Has anybody who’s ever been on a dating app recently not seen how our Darwinian impulses are gratified by a swipe or two? This, in order for our species to survive, is the way of the world and it’s never going to be modified or erased. I somehow knew, during that week, that this fake controversy, which seemed both misguided and pompous, would blow over in about 24 hours, and that ideally Ferreira might have defended the LA Weekly piece—though she never did. What bothered me most was that since Tavana’s article was only his opinion, why were people getting so outraged about it?
The overreaction epidemic that’s rampant in our society, as well as the specter of censorship, should not be allowed if we want to function as a free-speech society that believes—or even pretends to—in the First Amendment.
The sad ending of this story was that the LA Weekly, which had edited and posted the piece, felt they needed to apologize for it in the wake of all the online howling—for a piece where someone had clearly written honestly, sometimes embarrassingly so, about an entertainer and how he judged her. That was it. That should be allowed. The overreaction epidemic that’s rampant in our society, as well as the specter of censorship, should not be allowed if we want to function as a free-speech society that believes—or even pretends to—in the First Amendment. At the same time I never really believed that Jezebel or Flavorwire cared about any of this. Did they actually want to vilify a man for confessing that maybe he thinks Sky Ferreira’s hot? Or were they just venting away in the continuous vacuum of their own invention? By now, just months before the election, it truly felt we were entering into an authoritarian cultural moment fostered by the Left—what had once been my side of the aisle, though I couldn’t even recognize it anymore. How had this happened? It seemed so regressive and grim and childishly unreal, like a dystopian sci-fi movie in which you can express yourself only in some neutered form, a mound, or a clump of flesh and cells, turning away from your gender-based responses to women, to men, to sex, to even looking. This castration was something no one really hoped for, I didn’t think, during that summer—but maybe everyone was willing to go along with it because it might fill a column or two, and who didn’t need a little more clickbait?
Back in 2015 on my podcast I began talking about ideology versus aesthetics in the arts and how one seemed to be trumping the other just then in terms of reactions from the media and certain factions of the Left. “Look at the art, not the artist.” The first time I heard that line was in an interview with Bruce Springsteen about 30 years ago, and it has stayed with me ever since. (That this hero of mine would later get Trumped by releasing his worst single ever—the anti-Trump rant called “That’s What Makes Us Great”—was one of the cultural low points in 2017.) Art should stand as the artist’s truth, and the artists themselves? Well, you’ll probably be disappointed so just look at the art and let that speak for itself. Yet now Springsteen’s remark had started to sound like an antiquated slogan, something only a man of a certain age (either a boomer or one of the first Gen X-ers) would believe in, because we were constantly being reminded that this was now supposedly a different world altogether—and, more chillingly, we were told, an “enlightened” and “progressive” one that fully acknowledged our “identities”—even while there was so much evidence that didn’t support this claim. To me, it seemed like a highly reductive view. But I also realized that certain reevaluations had occurred to me when I saw how people responded to my own identity as an artist—and, therefore, to my work.
That summer, The New York Times asked me to profile Quentin Tarantino. I hadn’t written a celebrity profile in more than 20 years, when I’d happened to be stranded in L.A. for a couple of months, drifting through the writing and preplanning for a movie that never happened, and Details magazine had asked me if I wanted to profile Val Kilmer, who was then shooting Batman Forever on the Warner Bros. lot and starring as Bruce Wayne. Because I was bored by waiting around, and because of how much money the magazine offered me (an outrageous sum that doesn’t exist anymore), I agreed to do it even though I didn’t find Kilmer especially interesting, and this impression wasn’t transformed by the following events: lunch at a deserted sushi bar off Mulholland one afternoon; in Kilmer’s trailer on the Warner Bros. lot, with Kilmer in full Batman makeup and regalia, lolling around smoking cigarettes and pontificating as I fumbled with my tape recorder; on a late-Friday-night drive out to Culver City, where we talked while stuck in traffic on the 405; and finally in another trailer while he endured makeup tests for his upcoming role in Michael Mann’s Heat, which was shooting nearby. The piece had turned out OK, but the arguments with the editor over cuts and omissions, as well as information concerning Kilmer’s love life that I hadn’t even written added into the piece, forced me to ask myself why I’d consider anything like this ever again.
But The New York Times enticed me by clarifying what it had in mind: The T Magazine supplement was putting together an issue called “The Greats” with various writers covering various cultural figures who were hovering in that cultural moment: Rihanna, Jonathan Franzen, the filmmaker Steve McQueen, Karl Lagerfeld, and Tarantino. I said yes because I actually was interested in Tarantino: in his films, in a Gen-X sensibility we both shared, and in the man himself, who seemingly knew more about film history than any other middle-aged American auteur. I admired how, in interviews, he was fearlessly opinionated about actors, directors, movies and TV series. I hate saying “fearlessly,” since that hardly describes dissing Oscar-bait movies or saying you don’t care for Cate Blanchett or that you found the first season of True Detective really boring after watching only one episode.
There was once what now seems a magical moment where you could voice your opinions, make them public and commence a genuine discussion, but the culture now seemed so fearful of discourse that any such thing instead provokes an attack, which is precisely what happened when The New York Times published the Tarantino piece. I’d met Tarantino only twice, which seemed strange since we had many acquaintances in common. He was now heavily into editing The Hateful Eight, which was opening that December, and barely had time for any interviews. While mine would amount to a tiny 2,500-word mini-profile, the magazine thought it was essential to have the writer spend some face time with the subject, and I ended up talking to Tarantino for two hours at his house in the Hollywood Hills, before he drove us to the revival theater he owns, the New Beverly, to watch a Chaplin movie. Afterward he wanted to get something to eat, but it was nearing 11 and I had a meeting the next morning, so we said our goodbyes. I really liked Tarantino: generous, friendly, good-natured, approachable, and endlessly smart about movies. His genuine love of the medium is especially infectious when you’re hanging together, and he’s also a tough, clear-eyed critic. Our interview was actually just a conversation, not a hard-hitting investigation of Tarantino and his films—just a few soft-lob questions about a couple of things I was curious about that we explored over a bottle of red wine while sitting by the pool in his backyard. I wrote the piece quickly, but when the deadline approached I couldn’t see how to cut it down. I’d turned in double what they asked for, and, of course, they ran their favorite half. I knew that Tarantino’s monologue on his black critics post–Django Unchained might push a few buttons, but it also seemed fair and benign, though I would have preferred to leave in the paragraph where he’d talked about his now-complicated feelings for his youthful hero-crush Jean-Luc Godard, or his takedown of Hitchcock, whom Tarantino had never really liked. In fact, Tarantino’s admission that he preferred Gus Van Sant’s remake of Psycho over the original was the most shocking thing in the transcript.
So what were the two things that Tarantino said that were so appalling, disrespectful, sick-making, sexist, racist, and newsworthy that social media erupted with thousands of outraged souls calling for his severed head? One was reference to Inglourious Basterds losing to Kathryn Bigelow’s The Hurt Locker at the 2010 Oscars in the categories of picture, director, and original screenplay, and here it is verbatim: “The Kathryn Bigelow thing—I got it. Look, it was exciting that a woman had made such a good war film, and it was the first movie about the Iraq War that said something. And it wasn’t like I lost to something dreadful. It’s not like E.T. losing to Gandhi.” And the second was about the supposed Oscar snubbing of Ava DuVernay and her Martin Luther King biopic, Selma, during the 2015 awards season; many people in L.A. didn’t respond to the movie for aesthetic reasons, yet the entertainment press acted stunned and outraged that it received no nominations for director, actor, screenplay—ideology run amok. Here’s all that Tarantino had to say about this: “[DuVernay] did a very good job on Selma, but Selma deserved an Emmy.” Tarantino was parroting a typical response to the film within the Hollywood community—that it seemed like a TV movie—but he had actually gone on the record with it. Throughout the conversation I taped that night he’d also given his honest thoughts about various male filmmakers as well, and though some of these were cut from the piece they weren’t all favorable either.
But the internet exploded, and a day later there had been hundreds if not thousands of complaints worldwide that Tarantino was an outrageous sexist and an uninhibited racist for making those two statements—and I wasn’t far behind for endorsing him and for writing the profile. Tarantino was punished for “attacking” Bigelow and DuVernay—two women!—even though he had treated them neutrally, like adults, like the male filmmakers he also had issues with. What was disturbing about this reaction was, again, that it had formed itself against an opinion. As with Tavana’s Ferreira piece, a demand was issued suggesting that on the basis of an ideology—because those under discussion were women and/or black—artists needed to be protected from freedom of speech. The outrage directed at Tarantino turned Bigelow and DuVernay into victims. While he’d simply offered his assessments of two movies, the disproportion of the response turned these artists into martyrs, and ironically, in doing so, disempowered both of them. Social justice warriors never think like artists; they’re looking only to be offended, not provoked or inspired, and often by nothing at all. When a few months later I tweeted admiringly about Saoirse Ronan’s performance in Brooklyn, calling it the best performance I’d seen by any actor that year, complimenting its unfussiness, directness, and how luminous it was, and saying that it had no vanity, I noticed that a few women tried to turn my compliment (“no vanity”) into an insult by implying, in essence, that I was “fat-shaming” Ronan.
I’d sparked my own Kathryn Bigelow “moment” already, when on December 5, 2012, at 11:31 p.m. I tweeted that “Kathryn Bigelow would be considered a mildly interesting filmmaker if she was a man but since she’s a very hot woman she’s really overrated.”
This was my Twitter-casual response, half jokey, half not, after both the National Board of Review and the New York Film Critics Circle named her the best director of the year, and her new movie—Zero Dark Thirty, which was about the ten-year hunt for Osama Bin Laden—the best picture. I hadn’t seen Zero Dark Thirty at the time (it hadn’t opened, and screeners weren’t available yet), but I thought, directly as I typed: Can a Kathryn Bigelow movie be that good or was something else at play that had to do with ideology and representation? She and Mark Boal, the screenwriter of The Hurt Locker, had collaborated again, and everything about this team’s previous effort had seemed to me not bad exactly, but middle of the road, simplistic, visually standard: a war movie that lacked madness. Interestingly, The Hurt Locker also, I thought, felt like it had been—within the mainstream American movie system—directed generically by a man. Its testosterone level was palpable, whereas in the work of Sofia Coppola, Andrea Arnold, Jane Campion, Mia Hansen-Love, or Claire Denis you were aware of a much different presence behind the camera. The Hurt Locker, however, could have been directed by any gender, which is why it probably won the Oscar.
That same night in late 2012, I went on and tweeted this: “Kathryn Bigelow: Strange Days, K-19 The Widowmaker, Blue Steel, The Hurt Locker. Are we talking about visionary filmmaking or just OK junk?” The only thing that bothers me slightly about that tweet is the use of the word “junk,” because the movies listed above are hardly junk when compared to the other big American studio movies during the period she was making them. Bigelow’s craftsmanship level is often quite high, and these films are certainly ambitious and have a hardness and unsentimentality that’s rare in studio pictures, as well as that curious anonymity noted above. They might be just “OK” overall, though they’re certainly not “junk” in terms of their formal rigor and execution—messed-up scripts, perhaps, but my “junk” in that tweet is just the writer’s exclamation point, a Twitter flourish. I didn’t really like any of those films, and except for that one word I’m fine with the tweet, which isn’t gender-specific. It’s specifically about Bigelow’s work and not about her identity.
The next day, December 6, I tweeted, “Concerned Empire woman offended by Bigelow tweet writes ‘I love you, babe. But stop tweeting wasted.’ When the hell else should I tweet?!?” This friend, an Oscar-nominated producer, had called me out earlier that day about my previous tweets and by now was laughing about her own panicked self-seriousness. She was more worried, I think, about repercussions from the entertainment press. Even though she knew I was comfortable with getting bashed in the Twittersphere, she was still concerned about the legacy media and how they would undoubtedly, inevitably trash me yet again. As if this hadn’t been going on for years. The most recent instance was due to the fact that for months I’d been campaigning on Twitter for the Fifty Shades of Grey screenwriting gig. And then, when I didn’t get it, complained about the writer who was eventually hired (we later became friends). So now I was “ungentlemanly” and a “sore loser,” and therefore “we must take Twitter away from Bret Easton Ellis.” That Twitter campaign had been partly sincere and partly performance art, and like everything, I thought, in the immediate Twitter moment, meant to be surprising, playful and provocative, real and fake, easy to read and hard to decipher, and most importantly, not to be taken too seriously.
Some of the outrage over the tweets certainly stemmed from a 2010 interview I gave to a Movieline reporter while promoting my latest book, when the following happened over drinks at the Soho House in West Hollywood. The majority of our conversation revolved around movies, and at one point he asked what my favorite recent movies were. After thinking about it, I realized the answer was Andrea Arnold’s Fish Tank and Floria Sigismondi’s The Runaways, and I remembered that I’d tweeted, surprised by how powerful Arnold’s film was, “Best movie since Inglourious Basterds. I’ve gotta stop saying ‘women can’t direct’ ” and promptly told the reporter about all this. We then were struck by a subsequent question: Where were all the other women directors? Both of us had multiple drinks that evening—this would be my last interview where alcohol was involved—and, buzzed, I started pontificating on why there weren’t more female directors. It was actually a searching conversation where I theorized that maybe it’s a medium more suited to men—its nerd-geek technicality, the ruthless rapidity of images, the voyeuristic quality that’s the essence of the best movie-making and the aggressiveness of making any movie, at least within the confines of American movie-making—and suggested that there was a credible difference in the way men and women create films. (As the film historian and critic David Thomson has asked: “What are movies without male lust?”) Some of this made it into the article, and some didn’t. Some of it seems dumb in today’s context, but this wasn’t an academic’s published thesis, just a somewhat drunken conversation where I actually said that the few movies made by women didn’t have the violence, the technical virtuosity, or the wild reckless imbalance that I was looking for—as those made by men—so what’s up? Predictably I got slammed for saying that in 2010, and making those remarks has sometimes haunted me ever since. Remarks I’ve discussed in detail on my podcast with female directors Illeana Douglas and Rose McGowan and Karyn Kusama, who directed my favorite American movie of 2016, The Invitation.
On December 7 I kept it up: “Barraged today by people who think I’m ‘sexist’ and ‘toxic’ for thinking the beautiful Kathryn Bigelow is overrated because she’s a woman.” Now I was trolling. And my desire was to have a good time, to be a provocative, somewhat outrageous, and opinionated critic, to be a bad boy, a douche, to lead my own dance in this writers’ fun house—all in 140 characters or less—and it became a problem for my Twitter self. The last thing Twitter seemed good for was to be “sensitive” about anything, and I was often at odds with the notion that anyone could really, deeply care about a Tweet in the first place. You tweeted, people screamed, people laughed, you shrugged, everyone moved on—that’s how I initially saw Twitter. But after a while I realized that Twitter actually encouraged anger and despair—from the overly sincere, the virtue signaler, the dumb-ass, the literal-minded, the humorless. Until then I’d never considered it as a place to define your moral authority, or grab respect, or show off your most sensible assets. Twitter was about flashing thoughts and immediate responses to cultural stimuli, about capturing things floating in the digital air, a place to unleash insults and demonstrate a lack of consciousness—it was a machine built for outrage and skepticism. Yet did my Bigelow tweets prove that I was “truly demented”? Were they actually “sexist” and “toxic”? Was Kathryn Bigelow herself so important that calling her overrated—not incompetent or incapable—because she was beautiful had somehow crossed the line of decency?
The Bigelow tweets now crested with “I still believe that if The Hurt Locker had been directed by a man it would not have won the Oscar for best director.” I liked the definitiveness of this proclamation. It wasn’t a searching tweet asking any kind of legitimate question—it was just another opinion, as well as a dig at reverse sexism—but my problem came with the reactions to the tweet: Why did people think I was attacking her identity instead of speculating about the fraudulence of the Oscars? Was this really going “too far,” as some “followers” worried and alleged? Or was it just a fucking tweet? “Writer’s SHOCKING Allegations!” read one protesting headline as if I’d just been accused of child molestation. The idea that some people thought I was becoming a “shit stirrer” was not only inaccurate but also failed to grasp the context of Twitter. Since you won’t find “real life” on Twitter, none of this was supposed to be taken seriously, and I didn’t care anyway that it was. I doubt that I’ve ever deleted a tweet.
My Twitter feed was opinionated, snarky, sometimes fake sincere, sometimes pissed-off, filled with reactions to good movies, bad movies, books I recommended, books I couldn’t finish, quotations, occasionally just a song lyric from the past.
But neither have I ever tweeted at anyone—as many people do—because to me that seemed too personal, too weirdly intimate, so maybe I never used Twitter the way others thought it was supposed to be used. I saw Twitter as more freewheeling and performative, and I rarely retweeted anyone. I didn’t post links in case somebody wanted to find that interesting piece in the London Review of Books that I’d recommended or to the sites where you could purchase the novels I was rhapsodically banging on about (that prior fall it had been Paul Murray’s Skippy Dies), and it was the same with bands and TV shows and movies or any other so-called content. I just tossed off thoughts, with no links or pics. My Twitter feed was opinionated, snarky, sometimes fake sincere, sometimes pissed-off, filled with reactions to good movies, bad movies, books I recommended, books I couldn’t finish, quotations, occasionally just a song lyric from the past. These tweets appeared on my page randomly, in what I thought was the spirit of the site, at any given time of day, but mostly at night, sometimes after a few drinks, no questions, no explanations, just throwing out opinions and expressing myself to the lost souls who’d decided to follow me—though I was never genial in order to attract followers. I didn’t try to be charming. My page either resonated or it didn’t, and I had only vague ideas about why anyone would want to follow me at all. A few people suggested it was the “rancor” with which I expressed myself that prompted strangers to follow my verified account, and that I had “targets” they enjoyed seeing skewered, but this implied that my Twitter feed (and the very nature of the medium) was somehow planned. For me, it was, instead, something entirely spontaneous and random. But I did use Twitter to help a microbudget movie I’d written get funded, as well as to find its male lead, and once to mistakenly, drunkenly, order drugs. I’d thought I was texting.
“Love is good, but hate is good, too,” David Shields wrote in his manifesto How Literature Saved My Life, and in those early days that’s how I used Twitter, enjoying the role of critic, whether by ridiculing the puffed-up pomposity of The Newsroom in its first month on HBO or pointing out that Michael Haneke’s unceasingly brutal old-age love story Amour was what “On Golden Pond might have been like if it was directed by Hitler.” Twitter encouraged the bad boy in me, and I liked Twitter for that reason in 2012, tweeting at that time of night when all bets were off and the only things that seemed to matter for five minutes were the immediate responses my tweet received and that icy glass of tequila melting next to my keypad, throwing out stuff about Generation Wuss, the Gay Middlebrow, the legacy of David Foster Wallace, season five of Mad Men, the first season of Girls, how Homeland was so-so and why it’s a really bad idea to have sex while you’re watching Game of Thrones, about why I kept finding Breaking Bad so contrived, about Joan Didion’s 1978 Paris Review interview, or just tweeting pics of my Christmas tree. Even if The New York Times had called my Twitter feed “brilliant” in the summer of 2013, I was always under attack, and it took me longer than it should have to understand why. Celebrity is an ephemeral game—it’s totally different from being a writer, from the solitary work you do—and it makes you grow up fast, sometimes in hard ways. But if you’ve had a long career and already taken a lot of hits, you also realize after a while that they bounce off. You find out the armor was built so long ago that you assume everybody else on social media can handle the same bullets that you’ve been shot with—until you find out this is decisively untrue.
Excerpted from: WHITE by Bret Easton Ellis. Copyright © 2019 by Bret Easton Ellis Corporation. Published by arrangement with Knopf, an imprint of The Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group, a division of Penguin Random House LLC.