Author Roxane Gay is taking a stand.
The Bad Feminist author announced she would be pulling her upcoming book from her publisher Simon & Schuster due to their decision to publish a book by alt-right commentator and Breitbart writer Milo Yiannopoulos.
Remember the troll who led the insane amounts of hate and harassment that comedian Leslie Jones endured last summer? Yep. That’s him.
He was eventually banned by Twitter for his actions. But that did little to decrease his profile, it appears.
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So when Threshold Editions, an imprint of Simon & Schuster, announced in December that they were offering Yiannopoulos a $250,000 book deal, many writers pushed back. Simon & Schuster even had to send out a letter earlier this week trying to pacify their writers and staff.
“I want to make it clear that we do not support or condone, nor will we publish, hate speech. Not from our authors. Not in our books. Not at our imprints. Not from our employees and not in our workplace,” the email said.
But it wasn’t enough for Gay.
“How to be Heard”, the book she is pulling, would have been published Spring 2017 by TED Books, another imprint of Simon & Schuster. The book has yet to be picked up by another publisher.
“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. I just couldn’t bring myself to turn the book in,” she said in a statement. “My editor emailed me last week and I kept staring at that email in my inbox and finally over the weekend I asked my agent to pull the book.”
Gay did emphasize that this wasn’t about censorship, telling BuzzFeed News:
“Milo has every right to say what he wants to say, however distasteful I and many others find it to be. He doesn’t have a right to have a book published by a major publisher but he has, in some bizarre twist of fate, been afforded that privilege. So be it. I’m not interested in doing business with a publisher willing to grant him that privilege.”