Milo Yiannopoulos recently signed a deal with Simon & Schuster that reportedly gives the Breitbart tech editor a whopping $250,000 upfront from the book publishing company. But that might also cost the publishing rights to the works of over 160 authors who have written a letter to Simon & Schuster expressing their sincere dismay with the business deal that lumps them in with the conservative “alt-right” pundit who was recently banned from Twitter for harassing Ghostbusters actress Lesley Jones.
Milo Yiannopoulos is the tech editor for the news platform Breitbart and is responsible for controversial headlines that have targeted feminism and other minority groups. Many times a lot of folks simply aren’t open to hear what he has to say.
— Myra K (@myra2geek) January 13, 2017
A recent report from Publishers Weekly clearly shows that the letter written by the children’s and young adult authors to Simon & Schuster for their decision to fund Milo Yiannopoulos and his new book was in poor taste.
“We, as Simon & Schuster children’s and YA authors and illustrators, have deep respect for our publisher, our editors, and the Simon & Schuster Children’s Division, which we believe strives to publish the strongest, most diverse list it can acquire, for the betterment of literature and children everywhere,” the letter to Simon & Schuster read. “Sadly, we cannot extend this same respect to Simon & Schuster’s Threshold imprint following their decision to lend the legitimacy of this publisher’s venerable brand to hate-monger Milo Yiannopoulos.”
The children’s authors who signed this letter to Simon & Schuster clearly do not want to be associated with Milo Yiannopoulos. They view the signing of Milo Yiannopoulos to the Simon & Schuster imprint as a forceful venture for them to be associated with the Breitbart tech editor.
— Los Angeles Times (@latimes) January 15, 2017
“Threshold has placed Simon & Schuster’s considerable reputation and weight behind one of the most prominent faces (Milo Yiannopoulos) of the newly repackaged white supremacist/white nationalist movement and financially supported a man who routinely denigrates, verbally attacks, and directs dangerous internet doxxing and hate campaigns against women, minorities, LGBTQ individuals, Muslims, and anyone he chooses to target who supports equality and human decency,” the letter continued.
The letter also calls attention to the fact that Simon & Schuster has contracts with these authors and by proxy, they lump their own involvement with the company to that of Milo Yiannopoulos by publishing under the same company and/or imprint
“As Simon & Schuster authors and illustrators who are already published, with books in the release pipeline, with contracts in place, we do not have to quietly accept or assent to this ‘Gleichschaltung,’ this getting in line with fascism and making it mainstream,” the letter read.
— news.almanac (@news_almanac) January 5, 2017
The letter also made clear that these authors are not seeking to silence Milo Yiannopoulos, but rather disassociate their involvement with him in any way, which includes publishing their material with the same company, Simon & Schuster.
“This is not an issue of advocating or suppressing free speech, as Mr. [Milo] Yiannopoulos has a broad internet broadcasting platform and the support of many extremist organizations and publications,” the letter to Simon & Schuster read. “His voice is certainly being heard, and it is a voice of hate that stirs its followers to emotional, verbal, and physical violence directed at anyone who disagrees or speaks to the contrary.”
The letter to Simon & Schuster in protest of Milo Yiannopoulos was signed by the following authors:
Adrienne Maria Vrettos
Alice Faye Duncan
Amber J. Keyser
Ann Whitford Paul
Anne Marie Pace
Betty G. Birney
Brooke Boynton Hughes
Corey Rosen Schwartz
Debbie Ridpath Ohi
Elana K. Arnold
Elizabeth Rose Stanton
Jacqueline Preiss Weitzman
Karen Romano Young
Kari Anne Holt
Kristin L. Gray
Laurie Ann Thompson
Laurie Halse Anderson
Lee Gjertsen Malone
Liz Garton Scanlon
Margaret Peterson Haddix
Marion Dane Bauer
Mary Lyn Ray
Nancy Raines Day
Rachel Renée Russell
Rhonda (Helms) Stapleton
Sarah L. Thomson
Sue Lowell Gallion
Susan Goldman Rubin
Susan R. Vaught
Vanessa Brantley Newton
[Featured Image by Drew Angerer/Getty Images]