Gay right-wing commentator Milo Yiannopoulos has reportedly signed a lucrative book deal with Simon & Schuster, and many are denouncing the publishing company for giving him a platform.
Yiannopoulos, a Breitbart editor who was banned from Twitter this year after inciting a campaign of racist and sexist harassment of actress Leslie Jones, has said transgender people are mentally ill, and started a scholarship fund for white men only, told The Hollywood Reporter today that Simon & Schuster imprint Threshold Editions will publish his autobiographical book.
“They said banning me from Twitter would finish me off,” he told the publication. “Just as I predicted, the opposite has happened.”
He said he pitched his ideas to the publisher in a deliberately offensive manner. “I met with top execs at Simon & Schuster earlier in the year and spent half an hour trying to shock them with lewd jokes and outrageous opinions,” he told the Reporter. “I thought they were going to have me escorted from the building — but instead they offered me a wheelbarrow full of money.”
Sources told the Reporter the deal was valued at $250,000; Yiannopoulos would not confirm the amount. Officials with Threshold and Simon & Schuster were not available for comment.
Reaction to Yiannopoulos’s deal was swift and frequently negative. Here’s a sampling of tweets on the subject.
— Sarah Silverman (@SarahKSilverman) December 29, 2016
— Joe Berkowitz (@JoeBerkowitz) December 29, 2016
A reminder of what happens when you give this con artist money https://t.co/EDo5b0vD1G
— Gideon Resnick (@GideonResnick) December 29, 2016
Simon & Schuster should be ashamed of giving vile Breitbart provocateur Milo Yiannopoulos $250K to publish book https://t.co/9mSqETG8I0
— Jeff Stein (@SpyTalker) December 29, 2016
One of my books was published with Simon & Schuster, and I STILL think it was a bad idea for them to give suspected racist Milo a platform
— Tariq Nasheed (@tariqnasheed) December 29, 2016
You have the right to boycott Milo's publisher, which has the right to publish Milo, who has the right to spew garbage. All free speech.
— Mark Joseph Stern (@mjs_DC) December 29, 2016