Authors unite against Milo Yiannopoulos book deal

Milo Yiannopoulos
Milo Yiannopoulos (Getty)

A group of 160 Simon & Schuster authors and illustrators have signed a petition urging the publisher to rethink a book deal it awarded Milo Yiannopoulos.

In an open letter to their company's bosses, the group expresses disappointment at the legitimising of a "hate-monger", stating: "We reject the wisdom of this decision".

Yiannopoulos, a notorious internet troll known for shocking bad taste jokes and involvement in racist, sexually violent abuse campaigns, was banned from Twitter last year, in a move that sparked a free speech debate.

When it was later announced Yiannopoulos had signed a deal for his novel Dangerous with Simon & Schuster and reportedly been paid a US$250,000 advance, bookstores and media outlets vowing a boycott reignited the free speech debate all over again.

Now, many within the company's own ranks are speaking out.

"Simon & Schuster's considerable reputation and weight [has been placed] behind one of the most prominent faces of the newly repackaged white supremacist/white nationalist movement and financially supported a man who routinely denigrates, verbally attacks, and directs dangerous internet doxxing and hate campaigns against women, minorities, LGBTQ individuals, Muslims, and anyone he chooses to target who supports equality and human decency," reads the letter.

"Irrespective of the content of this book, by extending a mainstream publication contract, [Simon & Schuster] has chosen to legitimise this reprehensible belief system, these behaviours, and white supremacy itself.

Milo Yiannopoulos Dangerous with Simon & Schuster
The cover of 'Dangerous', a Simon & Schuster novel by Milo Yiannopoulos

"Additionally, they have associated all of Simon & Schuster with it, and therefore weakened the reach of the many other brilliant imprints that daily attempt to contribute to humanity instead of destroy it."

The letter states the protest is not about supressing free speech, as Yiannopoulos already has a broad "internet broadcasting platform" which he uses to spread his views.

A Simon & Schuster spokesperson said that the company received the letter and that it "appreciate[s] and respect[s] the feelings and opinions of our authors".

An editor on the far-right, conservative opinion website, Yiannopoulos has made headlines with controversial anti-feminist views as part of the #GamerGate craze.

Causing outrage with what are widely deemed as misogynistic and racist articles seems to delight Yiannopoulos, who boasted that Twitter banning him would boost his popularity.

Meanwhile, the bleached-blonde provocateur controversially won an award as LGBTQ Nation's Person of the Year for 2016, despite his insistence that lesbianism doesn't actually exist.

It's difficult to tell what level of satire the honour was given with, however, as notoriously homophobic US legislator Mike Pence came in second place.

The full letter by the 160 children's book authors and illustrators, including Mahatma Gandhi's grandson Arun Gandhi, is viewable on