Roxane Gay Pulls New Book From Publisher To Protest Alt-Right Hero Milo Yiannopoulous

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Roxane Gay is taking a stance against controversial alt-right journalist (and former Twitter troll) Milo Yiannopoulous. Today, the author explained in a statement to BuzzFeed News her decision to pull her upcoming book How To Be Heard from Simon & Schuster, the publisher that recently granted Yiannopoulous a $250,000 book deal.

"I can’t in good conscience let them publish [my book] while they also publish Milo. So I told my agent over the weekend to pull the project," said Gay of yanking the title from TED, an imprint of Simon & Schuster. "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. 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 noted that her decision "isn’t about censorship." She continued, "Milo has every right to say what he wants to say, however distasteful I and many others find it to be... [but] I’m not interested in doing business with a publisher willing to grant him that privilege." Gay acknowledged her privileged position as a writer to be able to make that call, financially. She added that How To Be Heard has not yet found a new home, but she hopes the book will be published eventually.

The feminist writer is not the only one unhappy with Yiannopoulous, the Breitbart editor who was permanently banned from Twitter last year after leading racist attacks trolling comedian Leslie Jones. After Jones made her disdain for Yiannopoulous' book deal clear, Simon & Schuster tweeted out a statement defending their decision to publish Dangerous, which will expound on Yiannopoulos' experiences and views as a polarizing figurehead for the alt-right. S&S maintained that they "have never condoned discrimination or hate speech in any form," something Yiannopoulous, who abhors political correctness and staunchly defends free speech, has been accused of plenty.

We hope that Gay works out another publishing deal for How To Be Heard in the near future. It's a pity that we may be deprived of her voice as a result of this. Plenty of people will be reading abhorsDangerous , however: the day after it was announced, a surge of pre-orders sent the title to the top of the Amazon bestsellers list.
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