Simon & Schuster is standing by its decision to publish a book by Breitbart editor and alt-right darling Milo Yiannopoulos.
Facing criticism over its acquisition of Yiannopoulos’ book “Dangerous,” the publisher defended its choice via Twitter on Friday, saying that the company doesn’t condone hate speech, and noting that Yiannopoulos’ views are his own, and not those of Simon & Schuster.
“We do not and never have condoned discrimination or hate speech in any form,” the company said. “At Simon & Schuster we have always published works by a wide range of authors with greatly varying, and frequently controversial opinions, and appealing to many different audiences of readers.”
The publisher continued,”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.”
While the tweet did not mention Yiannopoulos by name, the tweet began, “Statement regarding recent acquisition by @threshold_books, another division of @simonschuster.”
Threshold reportedly acquired “Dangerous,” due for a March release, in a deal worth $250,000.
Since news of the acquisition broke this week, the deal has been greeted with vehement criticism by high-profile detractors such as Judd Apatow and Sarah Silverman.
In a tweet published Thursday, director/producer Apatow wrote, “In these times we can not let hatemongers get rich off of their cruelty. Shame on @simonschuster!”
Likewise, Silverman registered her displeasure with the deal, tweeting, “The guy has freedom of speech but to fund him & give him a platform tells me a LOT about @simonschuster YUCK AND BOO AND GROSS.”
Yiannopoulos has courted criticism for, among other things, encouraging his followers to send racist messages to “Ghostbusters” star Leslie Jones in July. That led to his ouster from Twitter, a ban that Yiannopoulos credited with his success.
“They said banning me from Twitter would finish me off. Just as I predicted, the opposite has happened,” Yiannopoulos told The Hollywood Reporter, which broke the news of the deal. “Did it hurt Madonna being banned from MTV in the 1990s? Did all that negative press hurt Donald Trump’s chances of winning the election?”
— Simon & Schuster (@SimonBooks) December 30, 2016