According to Publisher's Weekly, Simon & Schuster has decided not to publish Milo Yiannopoulous' upcoming book, Dangerous. The publisher's decision to publish the book by the senior Breitbart editor and professional troll in the first place was a source of controversy on the web, with some fans calling for a boycott of the publisher and at least one author withdrawing her books. However, recent developments, including a riot at a recent speaking engagement in Berkeley and the release of a scandalous video have racheted up pressure, to which Simon & Schuster seems to have finally relented.
Simon & Schuster is canceling the publication of 'Dangerous' by Milo Yiannopoulos "After careful consideration." Full story coming soon.
— Publishers Weekly (@PublishersWkly) February 20, 2017
In December, Simon & Schuster signed a book deal that would reportedly give Yiannopolous "a wheelbarrow full of money" to publish his autobiography, to resounding objections from the large swaths of people who find his antics objectionable. Beloved amongst the "alt-right" white nationalist community for being an outrageous troll, some of Yiannopoulos' most well known controversies at that time included being banned from Twitter for encouraging a racist harassment campaign against Ghostbusters star Leslie Jones, starting a college scholarship program only for white men, and harassing a transgender student during a speaking event at her school. Though some supported Simon & Schuster's decision to publish the book on the grounds of "free speech," many called for boycotts of Simon & Schuster, with one book store refusing to stock books from Threshold Editions, the conservative imprint under which the book was being published, and reducing orders of all Simon & Schuster books by 50%. Author Roxane Gay even decided to pull her own upcoming book from the publisher in protest.
Believe it or not, things got even crazier in the aftermath of the book deal. At a speaking event in Berkeley on February 1, Yiannopoulos was evacuated and the event canceled when at least 1500 people showed up to protest his appearance. Though large crowds were protesting peacefully, a smaller group of about 150 lit fires and committed vandalism. Springboarding off the publicity from that cluster@#$%, Yiannopoulos scored an invite to HBO's Real Time with Bill Maher. Billed as a confrontation, Maher was actually mostly complimentary of Yiannopoulos, gently dismissing any reprehensible statements as good-natured trolling while agreeing earnestly on the virtues of "free speech." Some of Maher's other guests, however, such as former Nightly Show host Larry Wilmore, were less willing to play along. Yiannopoulos mostly used the platform to make transphobic statements.
But the proverbial shit really hit the fan for Milo this weekend, after recordings surfaced in which he appears to defend sexual molestation of minors. This time, the ensuing outrage didn't just affect the left, with the American Conservative Union's Conservative Political Action Conference cancelling a planned speaking engagement for Yiannopoulos. Even Breitbart has been rattled by this latest scandal. According to Fox Business News, Breitbart is considering firing Yiannopoulos, possibly by the end of the day. Multiple reports say "at least half a dozen" Breitbart employees have threatened to leave the company if Yiannopoulos isn't fired, echoing the situation with authors at Simon & Schuster earlier. It looks like, this time, Yiannopolous' performance art may have finally gone too far, even for his own audience.
The Blaze has a transcript of one of the clips:
"We get hung up on this sort of child abuse stuff," Yiannopoulos is heard saying in a video, acknowledging that he has a controversial point of view, "to the point where we are heavily policing consensual adults."
"In the homosexual world, particularly, some of those relationships between younger boys and older men — the sort of 'coming of age' relationship — those relationships in which those older men help those young boys discover who they are and give them security and safety and provide them with love and a reliable, sort of rock, where they can't speak to their parents," he added.
"It sounds like molestation to me," an unnamed person tells Yiannopoulos in reply, likely an interviewer. "It sounds like Catholic priest molestation to me."
"But you know what? I'm grateful for Father Michael. I wouldn't give nearly such good head if it wasn't for him," Yiannopoulos replied, using a euphemism for male oral sex.
Simon & Schuster has not yet announced the reasons behind its decision to cancel Dangerous.
This is a breaking story. Check back for updates.