Roxane Gay Pulls Upcoming Book From Publisher Simon & Schuster Over Milo Yiannopoulos Deal

Frederick M. Brown/Getty Images
Frederick M. Brown/Getty Images

Roxane Gay is not here for Breitbart editor Milo Yiannopoulos.

Little surprise, since Yiannopoulos is a raging racist. So racist, in fact, he was banned from Twitter after leading an online harassment campaign against comedian and actor (and queen) Leslie Jones.


Anyway, the iconic author put her money where her mouth is.

Gay was all set to have her upcoming book, How to Be Heard, published by Simon & Schuster when she discovered that the publisher had reported a $250,000 book deal with racist-face himself.

Gay put the scratch on her dealings with the publisher real quick, telling BuzzFeed News that she asked her agent, Maria Massie, to pull her project from the publisher last weekend.

“I can’t in good conscience let them publish it while they also publish Milo. So I told my agent over the weekend to pull the project,” she said in a statement.

Gay doesn’t care if the publisher says that the Yiannopoulos’ book wouldn’t include hate speech (yeah, we’ll see, I guess).


Gay stood firm in her choice, saying that she’s not about censorship, but she is also not interested in doing “business with a publisher willing to grant him” the privilege of saying whatever vile words come to his head.

Here’s Gay’s statement regarding the matter to BuzzFeed:

When the announcement about Milo’s book first came out, I was relieved because I thought I didn’t have a book with Simon & Schuster and tweeted something to that effect. Then I remembered my TED Book and that TED is an imprint of Simon & Schuster. 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. 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.

Though TED Books and Threshold are vastly different imprints, they both reside within Simon & Schuster and so I guess I’m putting my money where my mouth is. And to be clear, this isn’t about censorship. 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. I am also fortunate enough to be in a position to make this decision. I recognize that other writers aren’t and understand that completely.

The editor of TED Books is Michelle Quint. I don’t think Michelle is an employee of Simon & Schuster. She works for TED. She is, from my experience thus far, smart, kind, patient, and committed to putting good books into the world.


For now, How to Be Heard has not yet found another home, but Gay still hopes that the book is published some day.

Read more at BuzzFeed.



Now this is how you boycott. I hope other successful writers with S&S follow Ms. Gay.