Tweet of Metro worker eating on train could cost DC author her book deal

WMATA employees help direct commuters on the Silver Line. (WTOP/Kristi King)

When D.C. author Natasha Tynes tweeted about a Metro employee’s apparent rule violation on Friday, she didn’t realize her book deal would be in jeopardy as a result.

Tynes tagged WMATA in a tweet regarding an employee in uniform breaking a rule by eating on the train. The controversy on Twitter, however, began quickly, with several people commenting on the race and gender of the employee.

She later apologized and deleted the tweet. She has since set her account to private. Anonymous social media watchdog account UnsuckDCMetro then tweeted the photo multiple times, sparking more backlash.

Barry Hobson, the chief of staff for the Metro workers union said the employee was taking a meal break while in transit from one assignment to another, The Washington Post reported.

On May 8, Metro issued a “cease and desist” order preventing officers from issuing criminal citations in D.C. for fare evasion; eating; drinking; spitting, and playing musical instruments without headphones.

After hearing about the tweet, Tynes’ publishing house, Rare Birds Books, has decided not to publish her latest novel.

Tynes’ publisher, California Coldblood, has also cut ties, saying it will postpone the book’s publication date and discuss appropriate next steps to officially cancel it.

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