Authors react to Milo Yiannopolous fallout
The recent surge in prominence for right-wing provocateur Milo Yiannopoulos had already met with criticism from the literary community. Author Roxane Gay even canceled a book with Simon & Schuster after the imprint inked a book deal with Yiannopoulos, who is permanently banned from Twitter after engineering a campaign to harass actress Leslie Jones. Over the weekend, however, things fell apart after audio emerged of interviews in which Yiannopoulous appeared to condone pedophilia. His book was canceled by Simon & Schuster, and he was disinvited from the upcoming Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC).
Authors didn't miss the chance to ding Yiannopoulos. J.K. Rowling opted for a subtweet, posting a classic XKCD web cartoon explaining how the First Amendment does not protect all free speech but merely stops the government itself from restricting it; private citizens can still face punishment for their words and actions, as Yiannopoulos is now experiencing.