News of upcoming ‘Beautiful Disaster’ adaptation recalls how racist author Jamie McGuire is

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This week, Deadline announced that filmmaker Roger Kumble is making an adaptation of the novel Beautiful disaster, which will star Dylan Sprouse and Virginia Gardner. The film is described by the site as a college romance between freshman Abby and “bad-boy Travis.” It sounds pretty innocuous if you’re unfamiliar with the book. For people like me, it was a bit more complicated.

As some of you may know, once upon a time I was a book blogger. I cut my teeth in the post-dusk era of young adult fiction, so I’ve, to put it politely, seen some shit. Oh, did you think the Bad Art Friend drama was weird? The things that I saw, my friends… Back when Fifty shades of Grey has grown into a terrifying and unstoppable juggernaut, a new subgenre called New Adult Fiction has started to take shape. It was meant to be a stopgap between YA and adult fiction, primarily focused on college-age stories that explored the liminal space between adolescence and the “real” adult world. In the performance, however, it was mostly college romances with a lot of sex. Many of these books were, to use the word we all fear now, problematic.

The biggest mess of all was Beautiful disaster by Jamie McGuire. I read a lot of misogynistic garbage and this was the worst. The “hero” Travis is a callous, manipulative and abusive tyrant. He basically tricks the heroine into living in his apartment for a month. Every woman is a “bimbo” or “STD fool” except the heroine. Travis becomes violent and jealous in the blink of an eye, has a tendency to smash random objects, and hits a man for touching Abby’s arm. He’s even very close to hitting Abby. Beautiful disaster makes Christian Gray look like Judith Butler. So, of course, it was a huge success. Look, I’m a timeless romance lover and I have quite the allure of a classic alpha romance, but that wasn’t it. It was a checklist of warning signs disguised as “every woman’s dream”. Why adapt that now, of all things?

And then there’s McGuire herself. She’s a big, crazy racist!

Even before it was common knowledge that McGuire was an anti-vaxxer fanatic who supported the attacks on Capitol Hill, his reputation in the book blogging world was rubbish. No one in my old circle was surprised to learn that she shared videos of Candace Owens slandering the late Ahmaud Arbery, who was chased and murdered by two men while jogging, or playing. the role of “devil’s advocate” after the murder of George Floyd.

Jamie McGuire Facebook 1.jpg

(For the complete mess, check out the full docs for the wonderful Jenny Trout on his blog.)

And of course it’s a anti-vaccine, and that was long before COVID. “Until you can prove that vaccines don’t cause DNA mutations, I don’t agree,” she wrote on Facebook.

He’s the kind of insane fanatic who does things like tweet that Antifa and Black Lives Matter are a “violent, racist and extremist national terrorist organization.”[s]’comparable to KKK. She claims that white guilt “is a blatant product of the conditioning of the American people by the left-wing media” and that she would revolt on behalf of her children. She also hates fat people, because of course she does. AND she’s a supporting transphobe of JK Rowling because SHE IS GOOD SR.

And yes, she supported the attack on the Capitol. She was really strong in supporting an act of literal betrayal. She called the thugs “patriots” who “will fight fraud and tyranny for” the start of a new civil war. “

It wasn’t until August 2020 that McGuire’s literary agents dump her, mainly because it has become too difficult publicly to ignore years of evidence and their client’s own words.

I have absolutely no hope in a system that made McGuire a major success, threw money at him, and then continued to turn a blind eye to his racism until it was too embarrassing to play the game. ‘ignorant. It’s not just publishers and agents, of course. I know a LOT of bloggers who have ignored the fury so they don’t have to worry about their favorite being problematic. Many writers have spent YEARS sucking off McGuire, the town’s big name, when it was financially convenient for them to do so. So much of the talk of misogyny and rape culture in his books was ridiculed as “jealous hate speech” while concerns about his abject racism were scorned as attacking poor moron conservatives. This rot has been allowed to continue for years. I know, I was there.

But you at least hope that “not giving money to people who supported insurgent traitors who wanted to kill incumbent politicians” would be the minimum show of decency in the entertainment world. We ask so little. And yet we are there.

It’s also a staggering lack of understanding towards the romantic community that they clearly hope to bow to. Beautiful disaster is clearly happening because these After the films, based on Harry Styles’ literal self-insertion / fanfiction, are doing solid business, but the world of romance has long shied away from those titles. It took way too long for the film and TV world to realize how creative and profitable the romantic genre could be, and then they finally made the decision and chose the White Nationalist Hack Book ?! I’m not surprised, I’m just exhausted.

I could be here all day recommending romance novels that don’t fetishize and abuse and weren’t written by Proud Boy supporters that would make great movies. It is literally the easiest thing in the world. Seriously, ten seconds on Goodreads, executives. Try.

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Kayleigh is a writer and feature editor for Pajiba. You can follow her on Twitter or listen to his podcast, Hollywood reading.


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