When Breitbart editor Milo Yiannopoulos’ book deal with Simon & Schuster was first announced, many authors — including some who have contracts with the same publisher — decried the acquisition.
Since then, Simon & Schuster authors have banded together to submit a letter of protest to Simon & Schuster CEO Carolyn Reidy. As reported by Publisher’s Weekly, the letter has been signed by more than 160 children’s books creators, many of whom have won Newbery and Caldecott medals, and National Book Awards. Signees include James Dashner, IW Gregorio, Cassandra Clare, Holly Black, and Arun Gandhi, the grandson of Mahatma Gandhi.
The letter was originally organized by Simon & Schuster’s authors and illustrators, but grew to include several figures in the publishing industry, all of whom take issue with the publisher having placed its “considerable reputation and weight” behind Yiannopoulos, and financially supporting “a man who routinely denigrates, verbally attacks, and directs dangerous internet doxxing and hate campaigns against women, minorities, LGBTQ individuals, Muslims, and anyone he chooses to target who supports equality and human decency,” the letter reads.
The message states that this is not an issue of “advocating or suppressing” free speech. “Mr. Yiannopoulos has a broad internet broadcasting platform and the support of many extremist organizations and publications. His voice is certainly being heard, and it is a voice of hate that stirs its followers to emotional, verbal, and physical violence directed at anyone who disagrees or speaks to the contrary. Insinuating that people who protest this terrible decision wish to suppress free speech is gaslighting.”
It continues: “We do not have to quietly accept or assent to this ‘Gleichschaltung,’ this getting in line with fascism and making it mainstream. We reject the wisdom of this decision. This man, and this book, are not America… We the undersigned pledge to continue to advocate tolerance, acceptance, love, diversity, and equality, and respectfully ask you to take an irrefutable stand against hate.”
You can read the letter in full below.