World

Publisher cancels book deal for Breitbart editor

Right-wing provocateur Milo Yiannopoulos's publisher has cancelled his planned book, Dangerous.

Milo Yiannopoulos's book Dangerous was slated for a June release

Publisher Simon & Schuster has cancelled Brietbart editor Milo Yiannopoulos's book, which was to be published in June. (Jeremy Papasso/Daily Camera/Associated Press)

Right-wing provocateur Milo Yiannopoulos's publisher has cancelled his planned book, Dangerous.

Simon & Schuster and its Threshold Editions imprint announced Monday that "after careful consideration" they had pulled the book, which had been high on Amazon.com's bestseller lists as a pre-order publication and was the subject of intense controversy.

The announcement came hours after the Breitbart editor was disinvited to this year's Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) because of past comments about relationships between boys and men. 

Dangerous was originally scheduled to come out in March, but Yiannopoulos pushed back the release to June so he could write about the uprisings during his recent campus tour. At the time of his publisher's announcement, it ranked No. 83 on Amazon's overall list and No. 1 in the subcategory of Censorship and Politics.

Yiannopoulos confirmed the news on his Facebook page and said, "I've gone through worse. This will not defeat me."

More than 100 Simon & Schuster authors had objected to his book deal, which was announced last December, and Roxane Gay withdrew a planned book.

Some bookstores had said they would not sell Yiannopoulos's book, although the National Coalition Against Censorship and other free speech organizations had defended the publisher.

Threshold is a conservative imprint that has published books by Republican U.S. President Donald Trump and Republican former vice-president Dick Cheney, among others.

Speaking appearance cancelled

Earlier Monday, the American Conservative Union, which founded and hosts CPAC, announced Yiannopoulos was disinvited to the event being held Wednesday through Saturday outside Washington. In a tweet on Monday, ACU chairman Matt Schlapp said that "due to the revelation of an offensive video in the past 24 hours condoning pedophilia, the American Conservative Union has decided to rescind the invitation of Milo Yiannopoulos to speak."

The conservative Reagan Battalion blog tweeted video clips Sunday in which Yiannopoulos discussed Jews, sexual consent, statutory rape, child abuse and homosexuality.

In one clip, Yiannopoulos defends sexual relationships between men and boys as young as 13 years old. He also speaks approvingly of his own sexual relationship with a 29-year-old priest when he was 17.

"In the homosexual world, particularly, some of those relationships between younger boys and older men — the sort of 'coming of age' relationship — those relationships in which those older men help those young boys discover who they are and give them security and safety and provide them with love and a reliable sort of rock where they can't speak to their parents," he said.

Yiannopoulos is known for his vicious criticism of women and Muslims, among others. Last summer, he helped instigate a harassment campaign against Ghostbusters star Leslie Jones that led to his banishment from Twitter.

On Facebook, Yiannopoulos blamed deceptive editing and his own "sloppy phrasing" for any indication he supported pedophilia. The British author said he spoke of his own relationship when he was 17 with a man who was 29. The age of consent in the United Kingdom is 16.

It's unclear who edited the videos.

"We realize that Mr. Yiannopoulos has responded on Facebook, but it is insufficient," Schlapp said. "We urge him to immediately further address these disturbing comments."

Schlapp said the invitation was initially extended knowing that free speech on college campuses is a "battlefield where we need brave, conservative standard-bearers."

But he added: "There is no disagreement among our attendees on the evils of sexual abuse of children."

now