A Washington, D.C.-based author and World Bank employee has thrown her book deal on thin ice after publicly calling out a black Metro worker for eating on the train.
Natasha Tynes, who is Jordanian-American, tweeted a photo of the employee on Friday, tagging the Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority and writing, “I thought we were not allowed to eat on the train.”
“This is unacceptable,” she added. “I hope @wmata responds.”
The post has since been deleted, but a screenshot circulated on Twitter:
Responding, an account for the Metro service asked Tynes for additional details, thanking her “for catching all this and helping us to make sure all Metro employees are held accountable.”
According to The Washington Post, she then provided further information. The Metro account then responded again, indicating it had filed a report.
While drinking, eating and smoking are forbidden by Metro rules, a wave of backlash ensued from other social media users who accused the author of not showing solidarity with people of color, and attempting to get a black woman fired.
Though Tynes’ Twitter page is no longer accessible, the Post reported that she apologized, stating she was “truly sorry” for her remarks and pointing out that they had since been deleted.
However, Rare Bird Books, a Los Angeles publisher that distributes Tynes’ work through its California Coldblood imprint, released a statement calling her actions “truly horrible.”
“Black women face a constant barrage of this kind of inappropriate behavior directed toward them and a constant policing of their bodies,” the statement read. “We think this is unacceptable and have no desire to be involved with anyone who thinks it’s acceptable to jeopardize a person’s safety and employment in this way.”
Rare Bird then said it would cease distributing her novel, “They Called Me Wyatt,” asking that the Coldblood imprint “consider other appropriate actions.”
In a statement of its own shared minutes later, California Coldblood said, “We do not condone her actions.” It did not clarify whether it would drop her book deal, but said it is “working with our distributor to take approriate next steps.”
HuffPost was unable to immediately reach Tynes for comment. Tynes previously contributed to HuffPost’s former blog network.