Last July, Twitter banned polarizing alt-right journalist and vicious troll Milo Yiannopoulos for spearheading a campaign of nasty racist tweets against comedian Leslie Jones. Now, five months later, Yiannopoulos has scored himself a $250,000 book deal with Simon & Schuster imprint Threshold Editions. And, as you might imagine, Jones and her legions of supporters are not pleased. Fans of Jones — and decent tweeters everywhere — reacted to the news with outrage: Why the hell is this man getting a book deal? Simon & Schuster quickly released an exculpatory statement defending their deal with the Breitbart editor — explaining that they "do not and have never condoned discrimination or hate speech in any form," and "have always published books by a wide range of authors with greatly varying, and frequently controversial opinions." The company’s explanation that the publication does not equal endorsement isn't anything new — but Jones explains that her major problem is with the publishing house's eagerness to give the proudly prejudiced Yiannopoulos a legitimate (and lucrative) platform. She replied to the statement on Twitter: "yea but you still help them spread their hate to even more people."
Whether they intend to or not, Simon & Schuster is rewarding and legitimizing a man who has managed to offend as many people as Donald Trump. And, even worse, they are helping him monetize that hatred by printing thousands of copies of a hate-filled man's book and selling them to people. We're with Jones on this one. We know one book we won't be adding to our reading list.