Roxane Gay slams publisher Simon & Schuster after dropping Milo Yiannopoulos

'They did not finally ‘do the right thing’ and now we know where their threshold lies'

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The Independent Culture

Following comments made by Milo Yiannopoulos on paedophilia, publisher Simon & Schuster finally aborted plans to release the former alt-right hero’s book, Dangerous.

Roxane Gay - author of Bad Feminist, a collection of her New York Times essays - has since criticised the company in an extended Tumblr post.

“In canceling Milo’s book contract, Simon & Schuster made a business decision the same way they made a business decision when they decided to publish that man in the first place,” she wrote.

“When his comments about pedophilia/pederasty came to light, Simon & Schuster realised it would cost them more money to do business with Milo than he could earn for them. They did not finally ‘do the right thing’ and now we know where their threshold, pun intended, lies. 

“They were fine with his racist and xenophobic and sexist ideologies. They were fine with his transphobia, anti-Semitism and Islamophobia. They were fine with how he encourages his followers to harass women and people of colour and transgender people online.”

Gay pulled her book Hunger from the publishers last year after they announced a deal with the Breitbart news editor.

“After I pulled my book, they changed the release date of Dangerous from March to June 13, the day my next book, Hunger, comes out,” she continued. 

“I said nothing because I was neither threatened nor concerned but it did reinforce for me that this was not a company I wanted to do business with. My protest stands.”

Simon & Schuster have declined to comment on Gay’s post. Meanwhile, other publishers have been commenting on the situation, including Canongate who wrote on Twitter: ‘Very happy (delighted really) to announce that we’re also not publishing Milo.’

After the footage of Yiannopoulos discussing the age of consent and his own abuse circulated, the 33-year-old posted that he regretted the “imprecise language” he used, but stood by what he said.

“I'm partly to blame,” he wrote in a statement on Facebook. “My own experiences as a victim led me to believe I could say anything I wanted to on this subject, no matter how outrageous. 

“But I understand that my usual blend of British sarcasm, provocation and gallows humor might have come across as flippancy, a lack of care for other victims or, worse, "advocacy." I deeply regret that. People deal with things from their past in different ways.

“As to some of the specific claims being made, sometimes things tumble out of your mouth on these long, late-night live-streams, when everyone is spit-balling, that are incompletely expressed or not what you intended. 

“Nonetheless, I've reviewed the tapes that appeared last night in their proper full context and I don't believe they say what is being reported.”