Milo Yiannopoulos is under fire for a 2016 interview in which he defended pedophilia and said that relationships between older men and young boys can be beneficial. However, the controversial Breitbart editor is no stranger to inflammatory comments, including a 2015 column in which he encouraged depressed teenagers to harm themselves.
Yiannopoulos has long had a reputation for being a provocateur, covering hot-button topics like transgender identities and racial issues. He became one of the most vocal leaders of the so-called “alt-right” and a major backer of Donald Trump during the 2016 campaign. In the wake of Trump’s victory, Milo’s stature had risen even more, and he was signed on as a keynote speaker at the annual CPAC conference and had a book deal with Simon & Schuster.
Both of those are gone now after his pedophilia comments surfaced. He was removed as a speaker, and on Monday afternoon the publisher announced that the book deal was rescinded, USA Today reported.
— Matt Schlapp (@mschlapp) February 20, 2017
And his spot at Breitbart News appears to be the next to go. On Monday, a senior editor told Washingtonian on Monday that half a dozen employees were ready to walk out if the controversial editor was not fired.
“The fact of the matter is that there’s been so many things that have been objectionable about Milo over the last couple of years, quite frankly. This is something far more sinister,” the senior editor said. “If the company isn’t willing to act, there are at least half a dozen people who are willing to walk out over it.”
But this is far from the first inflammatory comment from Milo Yiannopoulos. He has many other comments being dredged up from years of writing at a time when he was under the radar and when Breitbart News was on the fringes of mainstream media.
In one 2015 column, Milo flippantly suggested that depressed teenagers should turn to violent self-harm to deal with their problems.
“If the figures are to be believed, just one in five teenagers self-harms. That could mean as many as four-fifths of teenagers are vulnerable to the horror of a Tumblr account and the temptation to bully other people about transgender pronouns instead.
“I’m not a parent, but if I were, I’d be leaving the razor blades out myself. After all, a little light self-mutilation keeps arrogance in check, doesn’t offend God as much as masturbation, and it’s a low-fat alternative to eating your feelings. What’s not to love?”
In the wake of his comments about pedophilia, Milo Yiannopoulos tried to apologize, writing that he did not actually condone child abuse and that he was abused as a child.
“I am a gay man, and a child abuse victim,” Yiannopoulos wrote in a Facebook post. “I would like to restate my utter disgust at adults who sexually abuse minors. I am horrified by pedophilia and I have devoted large portions of my career as a journalist to exposing child abusers. I’ve outed three of them, in fact — three more than most of my critics. And I’ve repeatedly expressed disgust at pedophilia in my feature and opinion writing. My professional record is very clear… But I do understand that these videos, even though some of them are edited deceptively, paint a different picture.”
Those who might be angry at the Milo Yiannapoulos column encouraging depressed teens to cut themselves may no longer have an outlet to complain about it. At the end of the article, the Breitbart editor added a note that “if the issues raised in this column have affected you personally,” readers could drop a note to Milo’s Twitter page. But the year after the column was written, he was kicked off Twitter permanently for encouraging sexual and racial abuse against actress Leslie Jones.
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