Steve Martin's Book Banned by Florida School District

"Now people who want to read it will have to buy a copy!"

BY Megan LaPierrePublished Nov 9, 2023

Before his latest renaissance as part of the beloved crime-solving trio of podcasters on Only Murders in the Building, Steve Martin has lived several other lives — as an actor, a comedian, a banjoist and an author. His most recent book is last year's Number One Is Walking: My Life in the Movies and Other Diversions, but in 2000, he published a novella called Shopgirl, which has now been banned by a Florida school district.

Shopgirl — which Martin adapted into a film of the same name starring himself and Claire Danes in 2005 — follows a Neiman Marcus employee who begins dating a wealthy businessman twice her age. It's among around 300 books that have been banned, "effective immediately," from public school libraries in Collier County, FL, after Governor Ron DeSantis signed House Bill 1069, prohibiting content with "sexual conduct" from schools.

According to the bill, said banned material includes anything featuring "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."

However, it clarified that "a mother's breastfeeding of her baby does not under any circumstance constitute 'sexual conduct,'" so at least there's that?

Various titles from authors like Toni Morrison, Stephen King, Alice Walker, Margaret Atwood and Ernest Hemingway have also been banned, adding to the growing trend of book bans in several US states, which can be attributed to Republican lawmakers, right-wing activists, school boards with political motivations and religious groups.

"So proud to have my book Shopgirl banned in Collier County, Florida!" Martin wrote on Instagram. "Now people who want to read it will have to buy a copy!"

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