Publisher defends book deal for far-right internet troll
Publisher Simon & Schuster has defended signing a big-budget book deal with far-right internet troll Milo Yiannopoulos.
Milo Yiannopoulos has seen his media profile rise thanks to attention-grabbing comments and support of Donald Trump, whom he refers to as ‘daddy’.
The controversial journalist has previously claimed he would ‘cure’ himself of being gay if he could, and describes trans people as “mentally ill gay men dressing up for attention”.
Yiannopoulos had a tumultuous 2016, getting banned from Twitter earlier this year after allegedly encouraging a wave of racist abuse directed at Ghostbusters star Leslie Jones.
Meanwhile he has capitalised on his cult-like following with a ‘Dangerous Faggot Tour’ at universities and colleges across the US – exploiting a recent appearance at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee to single out and bully a transgender student on-stage.
It was announced last week that the internet troll has signed a book deal with Simon & Schuster imprint Threshold Editions today to write a book, including a reported $250,000 advance.
Following furious criticism, Simon & Schuster this week released a statement defending the deal.
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It says: “We do not and never have condoned discrimination or hate speech in any form.
“At Simon & Schuster we have always published books by a wide range of authors with greatly varying, and frequently controversial opinions, and appealing to many different audiences of readers.
“While we are cognizant that many may disagree vehemently with the books we publish we note that the opinions expressed therein belong to our authors, and do not reflect either a corporate viewpoint or the views of our employees.”
Yiannopoulos said previously: “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.”
In a pre-election video in support of Donald Trump, Yiannopoulos burned a Pride flag, while echoing Trump’s own unsubstantiated claim that mass killings of gay people would be commonplace under Hillary Clinton.