Natasha Tynes, the woman who shamed a Black Washington, D.C. Metro subway worker for eating on a train, lost her book deal after her Twitter callout of the employee went viral. The Jordanian-American author is suing her former book publisher for defamation to the tune of $13 million.
The Blast reports:
According to court documents obtained by The Blast, Tynes claims she signed her deal with Rare Bird Lit on April 22, 2018 to publish her book, “They Call Me Wyatt.” The company announced on March 2 that the book would be released on June 11, 2019.
But on May 10, 2019, Wyatt became famous for all the wrong reasons when she posted a photo of a black transit employee eating on her train. She wrote, “When you’re on your morning commute & see @wmata employee in UNIFORM eating on the train … I thought we were not allowed to eat on the train. This is unacceptable. Hope @wmata responds. When I asked the employee about this, her response was, ‘worry about yourself.’”
Tynes deleted the tweet and California Coldblood, an imprint of Rare Bird, announced the next day they were “halting all shipments” of the book and postponing the publication date.
She claims Rare Bird defamed her on Twitter that day, calling her actions “truly horrible” and called her behavior “inappropriate” and “unacceptable.”
Tynes claimed she suffered an anxiety attack after her tweet went viral and she eventually locked her previously public Twitter account to private. She also says that she’s had to flee the country with her children out of fear of attacks from others offended by her actions.
Rare Bird has yet to make a public response.