Twitter is not known for its ability to remove harmful users from the site, but the social media platform made an exception in July of 2016 for the conservative editor of Breitbart News, Milo Yiannopoulos. The site finally put its foot down on Yiannopoulos’s hate speech after he tweeted hateful and harassing remarks at comedian and actress, Leslie Jones.
Twitter may have closed the door on Yiannopoulos, but he has found a new place to unleash his hateful rhetoric through his book deal with Simon and Schuster.
Much of the public was surprised and outraged to hear that this major publishing company would offer a deal with Yiannopoulos, but even the man himself was surprised. In an interview with The Hollywood Reporter he relayed that when he met with the executives at Simon and Schuster, he spent almost half an hour spewing his controversial opinions. He said, “I thought they were going to have me escorted from the building, but instead they offered me a wheelbarrow full of money.”
During this increasingly conservative time in politics, the heated outrage at Yiannopoulos book deal makes sense. What doesn’t make sense is Simon and Schuster’s own politics. The publishing house touts an imprint known as Threshold Editions that has published books by conservative authors like Rush Limbaugh, Michelle Malkin, and Dick Cheney. This is, of course, the same imprint that will be publishing Yiannopoulos’s book, Dangerous. Puzzlingly, Simon and Schuster announced a new imprint called Salaam Reads, which will be dedicated to Muslim-themed children’s books. These children’s books aim to put forward a positive message about Islam, and yet Glenn Beck published a book with the company called It Is About Islam: Exposing the Truth about ISIS, Al Qaeda, Iran, and the Caliphate. There is no unity or coherence among the different types of books the company will publish.
Many bothered readers have suggested a boycott of the publisher, but because the company does publish books from more noble authors such as Timothy B. Tyson and Amy Goodman, a boycott would hurt those authors and keep the good stuff from readers.
Author Danielle Henderson has the right idea about how to start handling this upsetting situation. She tweeted about how she’s been calling into the company to express her concern, and urged other Simon and Schuster writers to do the same.
We will all have to wait and see if Yiannopoulos even delivers a product. In the past, he talked a big game about two books he was supposedly going to publish, one about Gamergate and the other titled The Sociopaths of Silicon Valley, neither of which ever happened. Let’s hope the same thing happens with this one.
YouTube Channel: ABC News
Featured image via The Guardian
h/t The New Yorker