The Writer Who 'Subway Shamed' a D.C. Metro Worker Is Suing Her Former Publisher

Illustration for article titled The Writer Who Subway Shamed a D.C. Metro Worker Is Suing Her Former Publisher
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Natasha Tynes, the writer who was dropped by her book’s distributor after “subway shaming” a D.C. Metro worker, is suing one of her book’s publishers, Rare Bird Books, for “permanently ruining” her reputation.

In May, Tynes tweeted a picture of a Metro employee eating on the train, which is against subway rules, hoping to get the worker reprimanded. Instead, Twitter erupted in criticism of Tynes for failing to let the woman (who union reps say was on a 15-minute break en route to another assignment) eat in peace. Rare Bird, the distributor of Tynes’s forthcoming novel, cut ties with the writer, releasing a statement that read, in part, “Black women face a constant barrage of this kind of inappropriate behavior directed toward them and a constant policing of their bodies.”

On June 6, Tynes filed a lawsuit against Rare Bird in Los Angeles County Superior Court, claiming that since the distributor publicly refused to distribute the novel, They Called Me Wyatt, Tynes has been “placed on leave from her job at the World Bank in Washington, hospitalization for chest pain, death threats, high blood pressure, suicidal thoughts, a temporary move out of the country to Jordan, persecution of her family and nullifying the work she did on the book,” according to Deadline.


Rare Bird did not respond to Deadline’s request for comment.

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Tynes ruined her own reputation. She could have used official complaint channels but instead wanted to put the worker on blast with social media and it backfired.