Roxane Gay is taking a stand by removing her book from publisher Simon & Schuster, which will release a book by racist and anti-feminist Milo Yiannopoulos, and when someone accused her of seeking attention, the author taught him a lesson.
Gay told BuzzFeed News on Wednesday, Jan. 25, she would not release her upcoming book, “How to Be Heard,” through Simon & Schuster because of its alleged $250,000 book deal with Yiannopoulos. The alt-right journalist’s book, “Dangerous,” is due out under the conservative Threshold Editions imprint March 14 and Gay’s book was scheduled for release under S&S’s imprint TED Books in March 2018. The Black and feminist writer hopes to release the book “someday” but has not placed it elsewhere as of yet.
“I was supposed to turn the book in this month and I kept thinking about how egregious it is to give someone like Milo a platform for his blunt, inelegant hate and provocation,” Gay told BuzzFeed News. “I just couldn’t bring myself to turn the book in. My editor emailed me last week and I kept staring at that email in my inbox and finally, over the weekend, I asked my agent to pull the book.”
Gay stuck by her decision even after S&S CEO Carolyn Reidy promised displeased writers that “Dangerous” “adheres to the standards” she established and none of the company’s imprints “will publish books that we think will incite hatred, discrimination or bullying.”
In July, Yiannopoulos reportedly led a racist cyber bully attack on comedian Leslie Jones that spurred images and tweets comparing the “Ghostbusters” star to a monkey. He was banned from Twitter a day later but only after Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey finally stepped in.
“To be clear, this isn’t about censorship,” Gay said of her book being pulled. “Milo has every right to say what he wants to say, however distasteful I and many others find it to be. He doesn’t have a right to have a book published by a major publisher, but he has, in some bizarre twist of fate, been afforded that privilege. So be it. I’m not interested in doing business with a publisher willing to grant him that privilege.”
A Twitter user questioned Gay’s choice Thuresday, Jan. 26, which led her to give him an education on her success.
— Sekmet (@Artemis7299) January 26, 2017