Controversial Writer Loses Job, Book Deal
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On February 20th, provocative and controversial writer Milo Yiannopoulos lost his Simon and Schuster book contract and left his post at the alt-right news platform Breitbart News Network after comments surfaced in which he endorsed pedophilia.
Yiannopoulos, 33, is known for his baiting articles on Breitbart News Network including: “Trannies are Gay,” “Science Proves it: Fat-Shaming Works,” and “There’s No Hiring Bias Against Women in Tech, They Just Suck at Interviews.”
Although the commentator often describes himself as a troll, his most recent comments sparked the ire of his publisher as well as his employer. The issue stems from a clip filmed in 2015 in which Yiannopoulos condones sexual relations between “younger boys and older men.” When the footage surfaced, his book deal, and his employment at Breitbart, were terminated.
He said in the clip that he supported the, “‘coming of age’ relationship–those relationships in which those older men help those young boys discover who they are.”
The Conservative Political Action Conference, currently underway in Washington D.C., rescinded its invitation to Yiannopoulos as well.
When asked about his own alleged molestation by a Catholic priest Yiannopoulos responded, “I’m grateful for Father Michael.”
In another interview that surfaced with comedian Joe Rogan in 2015, Yiannopoulos attempted to normalize pedophilia: “So you’re saying you’ve never seen a 15-year-old girl, at any point in your life, that you thought was hot?” He asked.
Rogan responded, “Yeah, when I was 15!”
Yiannopoulos often goes on tours around the country to speak at college campuses. He had to cancel his schedule appearance at U.C. Berkeley in early February because of violent student riots broke out in advance of his scheduled appearance.
Soon after that, President Trump tweeted on February 2nd, at 3:13 a.m., “If U.C. Berkeley does not allow free speech and practices violence on innocent people with a different point of view – NO FEDERAL FUNDS?”
President Trump’s defense of Yiannopoulos is troubling to many, especially because of the journalist’s ties to racism, sexism, homophobia, and anti-Semitism.
Josh Callianos, ’18, was “disturbed by the support that Trump gave to Milo Yiannopoulos. I believe that [Yiannopoulos] is a horrible person. His remarks aren’t controversial, they are unacceptable.”
While these comments are shocking to most, those who are familiar with Yiannopoulos’ work are not surprised.
Sophomore Maddie Elsea, who has seen some of the content he has written on Instagram said, “Honestly, it doesn’t shock me. He kind of seems like a psychopath.” She cites a certain article in particular, one that really “caught [me] off guard.”
The article that Elsea read was titled “No JC Penney, Fat People Should Absolutely Hate Themselves,” and it began with, “It is grotesquely irresponsible of JC Penney to encourage addictive and self-destructive behaviors. Also, fat people are gross.”
Elsea thinks the article is disgusting. “I think that it should be taken off of the internet. I have no idea how this is free speech. This article does not have any content, only hate.”