Bookstores and booksellers hit with boycott threats after boycotting ‘Pussy Riot’

New York City’s largest bookstore and bookseller is on the brink of a boycott after boycotts against the band and its leader, Maria Alyokhina, gained traction.

In a statement Monday, the New York Times said it would “continue to boycott books that depict women in a negative light and to boycott those who publish books that promote or advocate the use of violence against women.”

Penguin Books and the New Yorker have already pulled their titles from shelves.

Amazon is reportedly planning similar measures.

On Monday, Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos said he believed the boycott was a “necessary” response to the book’s publication and he said it was an example of the company’s commitment to free expression.

In response to a question about whether Amazon would boycott books in response to Amazon’s actions, Amazon’s general counsel, David Smith, said that “the actions taken by Amazon are not a matter of censorship.”

“We are a global company, and our values and our laws are global, and we believe that our laws, like all of our laws at Amazon, apply to all of us,” Smith said.

He said the company is reviewing its legal options.

The boycott came as Amazon faced a wave of criticism from civil rights groups, including the American Civil Liberties Union, which said Amazon’s decision to “deny access to books by a certain artist, group, or political group” could be unconstitutional.

The ACLU also said the decision violates a key part of the First Amendment that bars government from interfering with the freedom of speech of people who hold unpopular views.

“It’s hard to imagine that the First American would sign a document that says, ‘We’re not going to be a part of this,” ACLU legal director Andrew Crocker told ABC News’ “This Week” on Sunday.

Amazon, which has a $1 billion market cap, has struggled to maintain a foothold in the American market as it attempts to diversify away from the traditional publishing industry.

In December, the company said it planned to sell books directly to customers through online retailers, but Amazon didn’t say whether that would be a priority for its online bookstore business.

Earlier this month, Amazon said it had signed an agreement with publisher Simon & Dunlop to bring its books to online bookstores.

Amazon’s online bookstore, Amazon.com, has a strong online following and has more than 1.2 million books on its shelves.