This is what happens when instead of defending the victim you blame them. I made that syndrome title up. But it's still a true thing.
I've noticed that it seems very easy to wonder where Kiana Davenport went wrong in order to cause Riverhead to blow up at her and then that's followed by quite a lengthy dissertation on how they never do that or something similar and everything is always so peachy keen between them and their slave master. It starts out like this "Of course I haven't read the contract and I've actually not read a word she's written and the novel in question isn't even published yet BUT..."
All of this leads us to believe that Kiana was wrong, even if she didn't realize it when she committed the grievous infraction, and if we don't do that, we're safe. This reminds me of a Winston Churchill quote "An appeaser is one who feeds a crocodile, hoping it will eat him last."
So Kiana, for $20,000 was supposed to sit and do nothing for 3 years until her book came out. That's not living wages. That advance means you have to have a real job and write part time in order to survive. I don't know why anyone thinks Riverhead could conceivably be in the moral right on this one.
Is it so great to be published in paper under these conditions?