When the zeitgeist is propelled by accusatory and inflammatory behavior, companies like Simon & Schuster often take advantage of it. Milo Yiannopoulos could be any other awful person spewing hate that should rightfully be ignored, but he’s not because he’s in the spotlight. Roxane Gay has called out Milo’s antics and Simon & Schuster for giving him a book deal long before people cared enough about his bigotry.
If only he had just stuck to racism, sexism, and transphobia. https://t.co/GrRjtahfKy
— Andi Zeisler (@andizeisler) February 21, 2017
Here is an excerpt from the letter Gay wrote on her Tumblr.
“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. They were fine with his racist and xenophobic and sexist ideologies. They were fine with his transphobia, anti-Semitism and Islamophobia. They were fine with how he encourages his followers to harass women and people of color and transgender people online. Let me assure you, as someone who endured a bit of that harassment, it is breathtaking in its scope, intensity, and cruelty but hey, we must protect the freedom of speech. Certainly, Simon & Schuster was not alone in what they were willing to tolerate. A great many people were perfectly comfortable with the targets of Milo’s hateful attention until that attention hit too close to home.”
Gay called out the company for falsely jumping on the outrage wagon when it was truly a business decision. Just like in 2015 when popular far-left publication Salon came out with a column by Todd Nickerson, an out and proud pedo, about how pedophiles should be left at peace. The recently-deleted piece is still lingering in the archives of the web (when they say nothing can truly be erased from the web, it’s not a lie) and the gross article that dives into the mind of a pedophile can be found here. Salon probably made a business decision to publish the piece thinking they would get a huge conversation going by publishing such a horrible topic that would act as clickbait.
Whether it’s Salon, Simon & Schuster or Breitbart, the implication of tolerating child abuse should not incite fury just for the purpose of inciting fury, but rather make people take a look at the bigger picture — these companies didn’t seem to care about these issues before the public reacted and they realized it might affect revenue.
Roxane Gay was right long before everyone else felt the need to be enraged.