In the wake of a controversial mass book banning in Florida’s Collier County, comedian and author Steve Martin found himself in the crossfire as his 2000 novel, ‘Shopgirl,’ became one of the casualties. Rather than expressing dismay, Martin, true to his comedic style, took to Instagram to deliver a hilariously iconic response.
In an Instagram post featuring the cover of ‘Shopgirl,’ Martin shared his unconventional reaction to the news, expressing pride in the ban with a touch of humor. His caption read, “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!”
The mass book bans in Florida were set in motion following the passage of legislation earlier in the year. Collier County made headlines by including ‘Shopgirl’ in the list of banned books, citing concerns about its supposed sexual content. Rather than lamenting the ban, Martin embraced it with a witty remark, turning the situation into an opportunity for readers to engage with his work.
‘Shopgirl,’ originally released in 2000, revolves around the relationship between a 20-something department store clerk and an older man. Steve Martin, not just an author but also an actor, adapted the novel into a film in 2005, starring himself and Claire Danes. The story gained acclaim for its tender exploration of the characters’ struggles, the solace they find in each other, and the realistic depiction of the eventual unraveling of their relationship.
Despite the novel’s nuanced storytelling, conservatives in Florida opted to focus on its perceived sexual content, prompting its inclusion in the banned list. However, fans of Steve Martin and his works, as evident on Instagram, expressed disbelief at the banning of ‘Shopgirl’ and admired Martin’s succinct and humorous response to the situation.
‘Shopgirl’ is just one among many books facing removal from Collier County libraries. The extensive list includes works by renowned authors such as Stephen King, Toni Morrison, Margaret Atwood, Alice Walker, and Ernest Hemingway. The sweeping book bans have ignited discussions about freedom of expression, censorship, and the impact on literary diversity within the community.
Steve Martin’s playful reaction not only draws attention to the absurdity of book banning but also adds a layer of humor to a situation that has sparked concerns about the limitations placed on readers’ access to diverse perspectives and narratives. As the debate over book bans unfolds, Martin’s comedic take serves as a unique commentary on the intersection of literature and censorship in the contemporary landscape.