Earlier this year, author Roxane Gay pulled her upcoming book, How To Be Heard, from Simon & Schuster, in protest of the publisher's decision to publish Dangerous, the autobiography of Milo Yiannopoulos. "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," Gay said at the time, later adding, "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."
Yesterday, Simon & Schuster announced that "after careful consideration," they would not publish Dangerous. Though Simon & Schuster did not elaborate on "careful consideration," it can likely be attributed to a scandal involving comments made by Yiannapoulos about sexual abuse of minors this weekend that caused the Conservative Political Action Committee to cancel his speaking engagement, and even made Breitbart consider firing him. So with Dangerous off the table, will Gay reconsider her decision?
In a new statement on her blog, Gay said, "In canceling Milo's book contract, Simon & Schuster made a business decision the same way they made a business decision when they decided to publish that man in the first place. 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." Threshold is the name of the conservative political book imprint under which Yiannopoulos' book would have been published.
Gay goes on to note that, once she pulled How To Be Heard from Simon & Schuster, the publisher moved Milo's book to the same release date as her other upcoming book, Hunger, and then concludes, "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." She says that she has already received "far better" offers to publish the book.
Gay ended her statement with a counter-argument to the notion that the cancellation of Dangerous is a free speech issue, saying, "This is yet another example of how we are afforded the freedom of speech but there is no freedom from the consequences of what we say." Read her full statement here.
In addition to her career as an author, in 2016, Gay became one of the first black women to write a comic at Marvel as part of the creative team of Black Panther: World of Wakanda. However, as Bleeding Cool reported last month, a new creative team joined that book for a one-issue story in Marvel's April solicitations. We asked Marvel for comment at that time, but they were unable to talk about the creative team on future issues at that time, telling us to "look for more info on that in the coming weeks." Marvel's May solicitations will be released later today, so we may soon see.