Comedian Steve Martin responded sarcastically after his book “Shopgirl” was removed from Collier County Public Schools library shelves in Florida.
The novel, published in 2000, was among 313 books removed to comply with Florida law.
The removal was based on parameters of FL House Bill 1069, and the district is conducting an additional review of the titles.
— The Hill (@thehill) November 7, 2023
The move was made to comply with a law prohibiting titles containing “sexual conduct.”
Collier County Public Schools chief communication Officer Chad Oliver stated, “Determination for removal of some books was made based on parameters of FL House Bill 1069, as well as other district review processes such as out-of-date titles that have minimal to no circulation.”
“The changes are effective immediately; however, the district is doing an additional review of the titles. If it is determined these materials should remain in the CCPS collection, then CCPS media specialists will be notified.”
Oliver added, “The State has made clear the potential punishment (third degree felony FL Statute 847.12) for non-compliance,”
“‘Sexual conduct’ means actual or simulated sexual intercourse, deviate sexual intercourse, sexual bestiality, masturbation, or sadomasochistic abuse; actual or simulated lewd exhibition of the genitals; actual physical contact with a person’s clothed or unclothed genitals, pubic area, buttocks, or, if such person is a female, breast with the intent to arouse or gratify the sexual desire of either party; or any act or conduct which constitutes sexual battery or simulates that sexual battery is being or will be committed,” the State wrote.
“A mother’s breastfeeding of her baby does not under any circumstance constitute ‘sexual conduct.’”
— WFLA NEWS (@WFLA) November 8, 2023
Martin’s response was a sarcastic comment on Instagram, expressing pride that his book was banned and suggesting that people would now have to buy a copy to read it.
“So proud to have my book Shopgirl banned in Collier County, Florida! Now people who want to read it will have to buy a copy!”