The Comic Book Legal Defense Fund has come under fire for its support of Simon & Schuster over plans to publish “Dangerous,” a memoir by writer and alt-right provocateur Milo Yiannopoulos.
The publisher has faced a torrent of criticism since the announcement last week that its Threshold Editions imprint signed a reported $250,000 deal with Yiannopoulos, the Breitbart.com technology editor famous for being banned from Twitter following the online harassment of “Ghostbusters” star Leslie Jones. He’s also notorious for such headlines as “Birth Control Makes Women Unattractive and Crazy” and “Would You Rather Your Child Had Feminism or Cancer?” and for publicly mocking a transgender college student.
Amid growing calls for a boycott of Simon & Schuster, the CBLDF announced Friday it had joined with other members of the the National Coalition Against Censorship to release a statement in support of the company’s “right to publish” that cautions, “the suppression of noxious ideas does not defeat them; only vigorous disagreement can counter toxic speech. Shutting down the conversation may temporarily silence disfavored views, but does nothing to prevent them from spreading and resurfacing in other ways.”
The CBLDF’s position drew a swift response on Twitter from the comics community, where some expressed their disappointment in the organization, occasionally in colorful terms, with a few apparently reconsidering their donations. The blowback resulted in the group releasing a second statement last night clarifying its stance.
“The statement the CBLDF joined asks readers to carefully consider the outcomes when advocating for the suppression of speech,” the organization wrote, in part. “Does boycotting the authors and ideas one may effectively counter speech on disagrees with from the same publisher?”
To those concerned about our joint statement in support of Simon & Schuster's right to publish: pic.twitter.com/Re5VA6K1f2
— CBLDF (@CBLDF) January 7, 2017
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