Milo Yiannopoulos exits Breitbart over paedophile row
Milo Yiannopoulos has lost his job at Breitbart News – the third time he has been dropped in 24 hours, after a damaging tape in which he discussed men who have sex with underage boys.
Yiannopoulos, who has built a large following as a Donald Trump supporter, had his book deal axed and was dropped from the Republican CPAC conference this week, after explosive tapes featured him allegedly defending men who have sex with underage boys.
The outspoken journalist, who officially held the position of ‘Tech Editor’ on far-right website Breitbart News but covered a wide range of issues, had come under fire after clips surfaced in which he appeared to defend men who have sex with underage boys.
In one video, Yiannopoulos attacks the age of consent as an “arbitrary one-size-fits-all policing of culture”.
He also claimed that “in the homosexual world, particularly, some of those relationships between younger boys and older men (…) help those young boys discover who they are”.
After attempting to weather the storm, Yiannopoulos has now confirmed he would be “resigning” from Breitbart in the wake of the row. However, he was reportedly already in line to be sacked, with more than a dozen staffers were prepared to quit if he was not removed.
In a statement he said: “Breitbart News has stood by me when others caved. They have allowed me to carry conservative and libertarian ideas to communities that would otherwise never have heard them. They have been a significant factor in my success. I’m grateful for that freedom and for the friendships I forged there.
“I would be wrong to allow my poor choice of words to detract from my colleagues’ important reporting, so today I am resigning from Breitbart, effective immediately. This decision is mine alone.
“When your frienda have done right by you, you do right by them. For me, this means stepping aside so my colleagues at Breitbart can get back to the great work they do.”
The news will be a serious blow to the business, which had received substantial revenue from wall-to-wall coverage of Yiannopoulos’ cult-like online following, even carrying livestreams of his speeches at universities.
Breitbart exec Steve Bannon, a close associate of Yiannopoulos, is a hugely influential figure in the White House, serving as Trump’s Chief Strategist.
Yiannopoulos previously angrily hit back at critics in a Facebook post titled ‘A note for idiots’.
Referring to the unedited five-minute tape of his comments, he said: “There are selectively edited videos doing the rounds, as part of a co-ordinated effort to discredit me from establishment Republicans, that suggest I am soft on the subject.
“If it somehow comes across (through my own sloppy phrasing or through deceptive editing) that I meant any of the ugly things alleged, let me set the record straight: I am completely disgusted by the abuse of children.”
He added: “The videos do not show what people say they show. I did joke about giving better head as a result of clerical sexual abuse committed against me when I was a teen. If I choose to deal in an edgy way on an internet livestream with a crime I was the victim of that’s my prerogative. It’s no different to gallows humor from AIDS sufferers.
“I did say that there are relationships between younger men and older men that can help a young gay man escape from a lack of support or understanding at home. That’s perfectly true and every gay man knows it. But I was not talking about anything illegal and I was not referring to pre-pubescent boys.”
Despite branding the age of consent an “arbitrary one-size-fits-all policing of culture” in the interview, he pointed to separate comments in the same clip describing current laws as “about right”.
The far-right figure and internet troll was already deeply controversial, previously claiming he would ‘cure’ himself of being gay if he could, describing trans people as “mentally ill gay men dressing up for attention”, and using a university lecture to single out and bully a transgender student on-stage.