Milo Yiannopoulos, the voice and leader of the”alt-right”/neo-Nazi movement, has had his book cancelled by Simon & Schuster after audio was released of him joking about pedophilia. It seems that he’s finally gone too far for the controversy to sell.
It should be noted that Yiannopoulos has already made a name for himself by being outwardly racist, transphobic and even sparked an online harassment campaign against Leslie Jones in 2016. However, that must have all been fine and dandy with the executives at Simon & Schuster because Yiannopoulos’s comments only got to be too much to handle when they hit close to home for them.
“After careful consideration, Simon & Schuster and its Threshold Editions imprint have canceled publication of Dangerous by Milo Yiannopoulos,” the publisher said in a statement on Monday.
Yiannopoulos later confirmed the news by posting “They cancelled my book,” on his Facebook page.
The immediate response to Simon & Schuster cancelling the book by some was applause as if they’d finally come around to the light and done the right thing. However, that’s not the case. Yiannopoulos shouldn’t have been given the opportunity to write a book in the first place and taking that platform away only after he joked about child abuse shows just how willing the publisher is to compromise.
To further drive this point home, Roxane Gay released a statement on Tuesday morning going into further detail about what happened after she decided to pull her book from one of the publisher’s branch outlets following the Yiannopoulos deal.
“Simon & Schuster realized it would cost them more money to do business with Milo than he could earn for them,” Gay wrote. “They were fine with his racist and xenophobic and sexist ideologies. They were fine with his transphobia, anti-Semitism and Islamophobia. They were fine with how he encourages his followers to harass women and people of color and transgender people online.”
She went on to mention that the publisher went as far as to move the release date of another property to compete with one of her own books after she ended their working relationship.
“There are some who will spin the cancellation of this book contract as a failure of the freedom of speech but such is not the case,” she said. “This is yet another example of how we are afforded the freedom of speech but there is no freedom from the consequences of what we say.”
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