Free speech organizations speaking out against OSF

0901 Shakespeare Books and AntiquesAshland, Ore. — A coalition of free speech organizations is denouncing the Oregon Shakespeare Festival.

The move comes after OSF executives instructed staff not to patronize an Ashland bookstore after a dispute over a banned book.

Six organizations signed the National Coalition Against Censorship’s letter to OSF including the Dramatists Guild and the Association for American Publishers.

In the letter the group writes in part, “What was needed here, instead of a boycott, was a public discussion about the reasons for the display, the reactions it elicited, and the role freedom of speech has played in the fight for racial justice and social change.”

NBC5 News first told you about the dispute between Shakespeare Books and Antiques and OSF last month when a controversial book cover in the store’s window display was called into question.

OSF executives wrote the bookstore owner Judi Honore, saying they had instructed their staff not to patronize the bookstore for any festival related goods or services.

Honore claims the move hurt her business, driving down sales significantly in August. She’s since announced that she is closing the store this fall and has already purchased a furniture store in town.

An OSF spokesperson previously denied they’re the reason behind the bookstore’s troubles and said on Tuesday they find it troublesome that the NCAC didn’t reached out to them for their side of the story before sending the letter.

You can read the letter HERE.

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