S&S UK will not publish controversial Milo Yiannopoulos

S&S UK will not publish controversial Milo Yiannopoulos

Simon & Schuster UK will not join its US counterpart in publishing a book by controversial right-wing figure Milo Yiannopoulos.

A spokesperson told The Bookseller that the UK division of S&S has no plans to publish the autobiographical book, entitled Dangerous.

Yiannopoulos is an editor at Breitbart News, known as a publisher of “alt-right” articles, and was a vocal supporter of Donald Trump in the run-up to the presidential elections. He was banned from Twitter last year after allegedly encouraging people to abuse actress Leslie Jones on the social media platform.

According to the Hollywood Reporter, which broke the news of the deal, Yiannopoulos was paid $250,000 for the book, which will be published by Threshold Editions, an imprint of Simon & Schuster in the US.

Yiannopoulos told the magazine: "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. I thought they were going to have me escorted from the building — but instead they offered me a wheelbarrow full of money.

"Every line of attack the forces of political correctness try on me fails pathetically. I'm more powerful, more influential and more fabulous than ever before, and this book is the moment Milo goes mainstream. Social justice warriors should be scared — very scared.”

The book is scheduled for release in March 2017 and is already number one in Amazon.com’s political commentary and opinion rankings.

S&S US’s decision has met with widespread criticism, including from Jones, who said the publisher is helping to spread hate.

However, S&S US has defended its decision to publish the book, saying it will be about free speech and adding that it does "not condone discrimination or hate speech".

“We have always published books by a wide range of authors with greatly varying, and frequently controversial opinions,” Simon & Schuster said, asking readers to “withhold judgment until they have had a chance to read the actual contents of the book”.

Last month the publisher’s c.e.o. Carolyn Reidy said it was S&S' "responsibility" both to "resist censorship" and "to stand unequivocally for freedom of speech"-"no matter how difficult that might be at times".

"As we head into 2017, we can expect that our civic and cultural life will remain turbulent," Reidy said in an end of year message to staff. "In these times it is especially important to remember that as publishers we will always endeavor to give voice to a wide range of opinions and divergent viewpoints. We publish for many different and frequently conflicting audiences, and must be fully cognizant of our responsibility to resist censorship and stand unequivocally for freedom of speech."