Lemony Snicket, born Daniel Handler, has apologized after making a joke many felt was racist while hosting the 2014 National Book Awards ceremony.

Daniel Handler (aka Lemony Snicket) Makes Racist Jokes

Handler, known as Snicket, his penname for writing The Series of Unfortunate Events books, was hosting the book awards and upset audiences when he joked about Jacqueline Woodson, the winner of the Young People’s Literature award. Woodson, a black woman, won the award for her memoir Brown Girl Dreaming.

“I told you. I told Jackie she was going to win, and I said that if she won, I would tell all of you something I learned about her this summer, which is that Jackie Woodson is allergic to watermelon. Just let that sink in your mind. And I said, ‘You have to put that in a book.’ And she said, ‘You put it in a book.’ And I said, ‘I’m only writing a book about a black girl who’s allergic to watermelon if I get a blurb from you, Cornell West, Toni Morrison, and Barack Obama saying, ‘This guy’s OK. This guy’s fine,’” Handler said.

According to reports, Hanlder made many inappropriate racial jokes throughout the ceremony, which included referring to two black authors as “probably cause.”

Authors in the crowd were not amused.

Daniel Handler Apologizes

Handler quickly realized his mistake and took to Twitter to apologize to the authors and the public. On Thursday, Handler apologized for his “attempts at humor.”

Handler Pledges Up To $100,000 To ‘We Need Diverse Books’

But on Friday, after he continued to receive angry feedback on his jokes, Handler again took to Twitter to apologize further. Handler also pledged to donate $10,000 to ‘We Need Diverse Books’ and to match donations to the project with up to $100,000.

‘We Need Diverse Books’ aims to diversify the publishing world, specifically through funding more internships. “Right now, publishing is still a very homogeneous industry, while internships – which are critical to developing a career in the publishing world – are not financially accessible to most. This contributes to a lack of diversity within the industry,” reads the WNDB Indiegogo page.

WNDB hopes to fund internships for people of diverse background who need financial aid, and the program also hopes to fund year-long mentorship programs.

Read more about: