Court documents filed following the $10 million lawsuit for breach of contract by conservative pundit Milo Yiannopoulos against Simon & Schuster have been revealed, in addition to an early manuscript of his book, Dangerous. Despite paying a reported $250,000 advance, S&S ultimately refused to publish the book following comments by Yiannopoulos that seemed to endorse sex between older men and teenage boys. Yiannopoulos eventually self-published Dangerous under the Dangerous Books imprint earlier this year.
Simon & Schuster’s documents, submitted to the New York County Clerk’s office and available via the New York State Court’s website, include editorial notes on an early version of the Dangerous manuscript indicating that the books principle editor at the publisher, Mitchell Ivers, saw the book as unfit to publish.
“Add a short and serious statement here that sets out why you do what you do, without trolling, without bombast, without name-calling, and without ego,” an early note requesting a preface for a section titled “Preamble” reads. “This will make for a stronger opening than playing to your core audience. Make the point that in each and every chapter of this book, what you intend to show is the stifling of speech. Acknowledge that you use bombast and over-the-top messaging in an attempt to break the strictures on free expression in the same way that comedians like Lenny Bruce once did.”
Earlier this week, Ivers, in his words, “retweeted without comment” a tweet by Publishing Perspectives’ Porter Anderson highlighting a section of the document in which Ivers called the manuscript “at best, a superficial work full of incendiary jokes with no coherent or sophisticated analysis of political issues.” The tweet has since been taken down.