Just before New Year’s, Simon & Schuster was widely pilloried when news broke that the publisher had handed a $250,000 book deal to Breitbart’s Milo Yiannopoulos, known for, among other things, being banned from Twitter for inciting racist harassment against Leslie Jones. Jones, understandably, is now among those criticizing the decision to give Yiannopoulos a forum.
Simon & Schuster released a statement essentially arguing that acquiring a book written by a vitriol-spewing troll does not mean the company supports the viewpoints of said troll. The missive was posted to Twitter, and read: “We do not and have never condoned discrimination or hate speech in any form.”
Jones was not in favor of this explanation, and replied: “yea but you still help them spread their hate to even more people.”
Yiannopoulos even admitted in an interview with The Hollywood Reporter, which first reported the deal, that he “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.” So clearly, they were buying what he was selling, which is usually awful.