More than 160 Simon and Schuster children’s book authors have signed a pearl-clutching letter to the CEO of the company protesting the publishing of Breitbart Senior editor MILO’s upcoming book, “DANGEROUS.”
The letter, organised by Simon and Schuster’s children’s authors, was published Thursday morning with signees such as Newbery, Caldecott, and honorees of the National Book Award. Arun Gandhi, the grandson of Mahatma Gandhi also texted his signature from India according to the release.
The letter reads,
We, as Simon & Schuster children’s and YA authors and illustrators, have deep respect for our publisher, our editors, and the Simon & Schuster Children’s Division, which we believe strives to publish the strongest, most diverse list it can acquire, for the betterment of literature and children everywhere.
Sadly, we cannot extend this same respect to Simon & Schuster’s Threshold imprint following their decision to lend the legitimacy of this publisher’s venerable brand to hate-monger Milo Yiannopoulos. Threshold has placed Simon & Schuster’s considerable reputation and weight 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. Irrespective of the content of this book, by extending a mainstream publication contract, Threshold has chosen to legitimize this reprehensible belief system, these behaviors, and white supremacy itself.
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.
This is not an issue of advocating or suppressing free speech, as Mr. Yiannopoulos has a broad internet broadcasting platform and the support of many extremist organizations and publications. His voice is certainly being heard, and it is a voice of hate that stirs its followers to emotional, verbal, and physical violence directed at anyone who disagrees or speaks to the contrary. Insinuating that people who protest this terrible decision wish to suppress free speech is gaslighting.
As Simon & Schuster authors and illustrators who are already published, with books in the release pipeline, with contracts in place, we do not have to quietly accept or assent to this “Gleichschaltung,” this getting in line with fascism and making it mainstream. We reject the wisdom of this decision. This man, and this book, are not America. This man, and this book, are not the bulk of Simon & Schuster. This man, and this book, are not us, the authors and illustrators of Simon & Schuster. We believe that the children we write for deserve a better America.
We the undersigned pledge to continue to advocate tolerance, acceptance, love, diversity, and equality, and respectfully ask you to take an irrefutable stand against hate.
Simon and Schuster has yet to respond to the letter.