A book about Wreck Beach won’t be sold on BC Ferries after a box of the books initially purchased by the ferries’ book distributor, The News Group, was rejected.
Local lesbian author Carellin Brooks speculates the refusal stems from two possible objections: one “extremely tasteful” photo of two gay men with full frontal nudity, or possibly “where I discuss the gay side of the beach.”
The News Group’s book buyer rejected the book after judging the nude photo would be “controversial,” confirms The News Group’s president Glen Clark.
Clark points to a clause in his company’s contract with BC Ferries that directs buyers to “try to avoid anything controversial.”
Clark admits “it’s difficult to ascertain what’s controversial.” But the former BC premier says BC Ferries is “risk averse.”
Displaying the book on ship shelves would likely generate complaints, Clark explains. The “very experienced buyer knows the kinds of calls that would be generated.”
Clark maintains, however, that the gay content was not the issue. “I wasn’t aware it had gay content,” he claims.
Clark confirms that magazines depicting scantily clad women are available onboard, but says there is no full nudity in magazines sold on the ferries.
BC Ferries wasn’t in on the decision to ban the Wreck Beach book, Clark emphasizes. “It is 100 percent our discretion. BC Ferries relies on us to make those judgments.”
With no official avenue of appeal to the News Group’s decision, Clark says the book could still be included on the ships “if BC Ferries asked us.”
When asked if BC Ferries would overturn the rejection and request the book for its ships, a spokesperson for the ferries referred the question back to The News Group. “It is up to The News Group. They are the ones who recommend and they are the ones who do the placement as far as our books,” Deborah Marshall told Xtra West.