If Milo Yiannopoulos is going down for his tape discussing pedophilia, he’s taking George Takei with him.
Or at least that seems to be the logic behind a video that he shared last night on his Facebook page. Milo posted a video that compiles all of the times that original Star Trek actor George has spoken about losing his virginity to a man at least five years his senior. He has told the story in many instances, including in the documentary about his life To Be Takei, multiple radio programs, and a Reddit “Ask Me Anything” thread.
“I was at summer camp, 14 years old, and there was a blond camp counselor who was very tanned and good looking. His t-shirt was rolled up, and the hair on his forearms glistened gold. I made comment, and that was enough to cause him to visit me in my cabin. Oh, myyy…”
Outside interpretations aside, George relates the memory as a “coming of age” story. While attending a summer camp, Takei developed a crush on a camp counselor who was “18 or 19 years old” and “blond.” He retells the event as a nerve-racking but ultimately positive experience in which his counselor came into his cabin and began to touch him while the two of them were alone.
“It was both wonderful and scary and kind of intimidating and delightful and, you know, all of those opposites… there was an element of scariness, because you’re very young.”
Although he presents it with nothing more than an emoticon, it’s pretty clear what Milo’s intentions are with this video.
As one right-wing site RightSmarts posted, “It’ll be interesting to see how both the public and media react to George’s comments in comparison to how they reacted to [Yiannopoulos]. Will Takei get the Milo treatment, or will double standards be exposed?”
Yiannopoulos’ original statements about pedophilia were given on at least two online talk shows in 2016 during a discussion about the age of consent, reported Vox. It resurfaced earlier this weekend when the Reagan Battalion — a Twitter page dedicated to reclaiming the right-wing for traditional conservatives values away from individuals like Milo — reposted it, seemingly in outrage about the fact that the Breitbart journalist had been had been invited to speak at mainstream conservative conference CPAC.
Warning: The following video contains graphic language.
— The Reagan Battalion (@ReaganBattalion) February 20, 2017
One difference between George’s statements and the Yiannopoulos video is that Takei speaks specifically of his own experience in the context of his own life. Milo, on the other hand, describes such encounters in a much more general way, though he does joke that he “wouldn’t give nearly as good head if it weren’t for” a priest who had molested him.
“In the homosexual world, particularly, some of those relationships between younger boys and older men — the sort of ‘coming of age’ relationships — the relationships in which those older men help those young boys to discover who they are and give them security and safety and provide them with love and a reliable sort of rock.”
After the controversy, however, Milo did seek to similarly frame his own comments within the context of his own experiences with older men as a teenager. Yiannopoulos gave a press conference where he described his personal experiences as sexual abuse, arguing that because he was a victim of such treatment, he thought he was entitled to make jokes about it.
“But let’s be clear what is happening here. This is a cynical media witch hunt from people who don’t care about children. They care about destroying me and my career, and by extension my allies. They know that although I made some outrageous statements, I’ve never actually done anything wrong. These videos have been out there for more than a year. The media held this story back because they don’t care about victims, they only care about bringing me down. They will fail.”
While it’s unlikely that the public has heard the last of Milo, he has taken a huge hit in the fallout over the video. The provocateur has lost his book deal with Simon & Schuster, something that the publisher had held on to despite the Chicago Review of Books refusing to critique of any of their titles for printing Yiannopoulos’ words. George Takei has also published a autobiography called To the Stars under S&S-associated publisher Pocket Books, as well as provided the voice for several Star Trek audiobooks distributed by them.
Those who have come to Milo’s defense have claimed the crusade against him is less than noble considering other similar comments made by prominent liberal celebrities, and George Takei isn’t the first one to be blasted for a perceived hypocrisy on the issue. Popular Trump subreddit r/the_Donald has been posting threads about Lena Dunham, Sarah Silverman, Bill Maher, and Kim Cattrall, all of whom they have deemed “pedophile advocates.” Several others have been called out for defending Roman Polanski, who is still facing possible extradition after being charged with the rape of a 13-year-old girl in 1977. That hasn’t kept him from being one of the most lauded directors in Hollywood, including an Oscar win for Best Director for his 2002 film The Pianist.
As of the publication of this article, George Takei has not responded to Milo Yiannopoulos’ comparison of the actor’s statements with his own conversation about pedophilia and the relationships between older men and boys who have not yet reached the age of consent.
[Featured Image by Evan Agostini/Invision/AP Images]