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Roxane Gay Speaks Out Against Simon & Schuster Again After Publisher Drops Milo Yiannopoulos

By Rachel Cromidas in Arts & Entertainment on Feb 21, 2017 8:51PM

Roxane Gay, photo via her Facebook page.

Book publisher Simon & Schuster finally took a hint and dropped its six-figure book deal with bigoted, alt-right figure Milo Yiannopoulos. But Roxane Gay, the acclaimed Indiana-based author who spoke out against the publisher's involvement with Yiannopoulos and pulled her own in-progress book from the publisher, is not done with them yet.

Yiannopoulos has long faced scrutiny for his bigoted, misogynistic and transphobic writings in Brietbart and elsewhere, and on his controversial speaking tour of college campuses. But a video of him seeming to defend pedophilia that made the rounds this week has become a final straw for Simon & Schuster, which rescinded its book deal. Gay commented on the revelation in a Tumblr post, saying the publisher should not be lauded for doing "the right thing."

“When his comments about pedophilia/pederasty came to light, Simon & Schuster realized 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," she wrote. “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 color and transgender people online."

According to Gay, she found it particularly disturbing to learn that, after she pulled her upcoming book How to Be Heard from the publisher, the publisher moved Yiannopoulos's release date to coincide with the release date of her other upcoming book, Hunger.

Gay added that she's gotten better offers for the book anyway, and will not be returning to Simon & Schuster: "My protest stands. Simon & Schuster should have never enabled Milo in the first place. I see what they are willing to tolerate and I stand against all of it. Also, I’ve received far better offers for How to Be Heard from other publishers."