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Entertainment Weekly


Roxane Gay pulls forthcoming book from Simon & Schuster imprint over Milo Yiannopoulos' deal

Matt Sayles/Invision for PEN Center USA/AP Images

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Roxane Gay has pulled her forthcoming book, How to Be Heard, from TED Books, an imprint of Simon & Schuster, after Milo Yiannopoulos’ controversial book deal with the publishing powerhouse.

A Breitbart editor who was banned from Twitter after orchestrating a racist online harassment campaign against Saturday Night Live star Leslie Jones, Yiannopoulos has a reported $250,000 book deal with Simon & Schuster’s Threshold imprint for his title, Dangerous, out March 14.

Gay was scheduled to release How to Be Heard with TED in March 2018, but she told BuzzFeed News she “couldn’t bring herself” to turn in the manuscript after hearing Yiannopoulos’ book would be published by the same parent company. “I was supposed to turn the book in this month and I kept thinking about how egregious it is to give someone like Milo a platform for his blunt, inelegant hate and provocation,” Gay said.

She also said that the book does not yet have a new home but “I do hope the book is published someday.”

After the news broke, Gay tweeted, “I guess the news out. Everything I need to say is in my statement. I can afford to take this stand. Not everyone can. Remember that.”

Yiannopoulos’ book deal drew ire from the literary community. After its announcement, many authors tweeted disdain for Simon & Schuster, and some, like Gay, publicly acknowledged that they were rethinking their contracts. At the time, the publishing house responded in a statement and said: “We do not and never have condoned discrimination or hate speech in any form. At Simon & Schuster, we have always published books by a wide range of authors with greatly varying, and frequently controversial opinions, and appealing to many different audiences of readers.”

Gay and a rep for Simon & Schuster did not respond to EW’s immediate request for comment.