Authors are criticizing publishing company Simon & Schuster for its just-announced book deal with Milo Yiannopoulos, an editor for Breitbart, a website that its former executive chairman (and current Donald Trump advisor) Steve Bannon called a “platform” for the so-called “alt-right” movement.
Threshold Editions, an imprint of Simon & Schuster, will publish the title, Dangerous, “a book on free speech,” on March 14, 2017, the imprint said in a statement.
Twitter banned Yiannopoulos this past July after the writer sent multiple obscene tweets — and encouraged other Twitter users to do the same — to Ghostbusters and Saturday Night Live star Leslie Jones.
“They said banning me from Twitter would finish me off. Just as I predicted, the opposite has happened,” he told The Hollywood Reporter, who first reported the news of his book deal. “Did it hurt Madonna being banned from MTV in the 1990s? Did all that negative press hurt Donald Trump’s chances of winning the election?”
Some of the authors criticizing Simon & Schuster for the deal include writers who have contracts with the publisher. “I’m looking at my @simonschuster contract, and unfortunately there’s no clause for ‘what if we decide to publish a white nationalist,” Danielle Henderson, whose memoir, The Ugly Cry, is set to be released by Simon & Schuster in 2018, tweeted.
“Sigh, @simonschuster,” Tim Federle wrote. “This is a major bummer to me as one of your gay authors.”
Rainbow Rowell, known for young adult novels like 2013’s Eleanor & Park, said, “It’s fair to expect mainstream publishers not to hand money and megaphones to hateful extremists. Gross move, @simonschuster.”
Comedian Sarah Silverman also commented, tweeting, “The guy has freedom of speech but to fund him & give him a platform tells me a LOT about @simonschuster YUCK AND BOO AND GROSS.”
See these tweets and more below.