A Writer May Lose Her Book Deal After Shaming A DC Metro Worker For Eating On The Train

Photo Credit: Jeremy Segrott

The author has since delted the initial tweet that started the incident.

Author Natasha Tynes may lose her book deal after shaming a Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority (WMATA) employee for eating on the train.

Tynes, a Jordinian-American writer and World Bank employee in Washington, had tweeted an image of the WMATA worker — a black woman — in uniform eating on the train on Friday, according to the Washington Post. Tynes said she confronted the employee for breaking Metro rules (eating, drinking, smoking and littering on buses or trains and in stations are banned by the Metro), to which the employee allegedly responded, “worry about yourself.”

“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 then received backlash for the tweet, with many accusing her of not only shaming the employee but trying to get her fired as well. Tynes apologized for the tweet and acknowledged that it had been deleted. She has also since deleted her account.

As a result of the incident, a book that Tynes was working on titled They Called Me Wyatt will no longer be distributed. Rare Birds Books, the publishing house that was set to distribute the book, issued a statement responding to what Tynes did.

“Natasha Tynes…did something truly horrible today in tweeting a picture of a metro worker eating her breakfast on the train this morning and drawing attention to her employer,” the statement read. “Black women face a constant barrage of this kind of inappropriate behavior directed toward them and a constant policing of their bodies.”

“We think this is unacceptable and have no desire to be involved with anyone who thinks it’s acceptable to jeopardize a person’s safety and employment in this way.”

Rare Birds Books also called on Tynes’ publisher, California Coldblood, to no longer with her.

“We do not condone her actions and hope Natasha learns from this experience that black women feel the effects of systematic racism the most and that we have to be allies, not oppressors,” California Coldblood said in a statement Friday. Then, on Saturday, Coldblood announced it will postpone the book’s publication date “while we further discuss appropriate next steps to officially cancel” it.

As for the employee, the case is still under investigation but no action has been taken against her, with the transit union saying it “will not support any discipline.”

In a statement from Barry Hobson, the chief of staff for the Metro workers union — Amalgamated Transit Union Local 689, he said that the employee was taking her meal break while going to another assignment. The statement also notes that operators have “an average of 20 minutes to consume a meal and get to their next access point to ensure all buses and trains are on time, safe, and ready to serve the riding public.”

Source: Washington Post

Elijah C. Watson

Elijah Watson serves as Okayplayer's News & Culture Editor. When he's not writing he's listening to Sade and crying or watching My Hero Academia with his partner.

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Elijah C. Watson

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