A man famous for his offensive comments now has one fewer platform from which to make a ruckus.
Milo Yiannopoulos resigned from Breitbart News on Tuesday following an uproar over insensitive comments he made about pedophiles. Yiannopoulos’ departure from Breitbart comes after his colleagues at the publication vowed to resign en masse if he were not forced out.
“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,” Yiannopoulos said in a prepared statement. “This decision is mine alone.”
Yiannopoulos has branded himself a fierce defender of free speech. His conservative and libertarian views often manifest as disparagement of women, Muslims, liberals, and others who espouse what he describes as a freedom-stifling culture of political correctness.
Videos of Yiannopoulos speaking casually about adults having sex with children as young as 13 resurfaced earlier this week after news that he had been invited to speak at the Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC), which begins on Wednesday.
CPAC’s organizers later rescinded their invitation after outrage about Yiannopoulos’ comments, and Simon & Schuster canceled his $250,000 deal to publish his book, Dangerous. Many, including author Roxane Gay, criticized the publisher for ignoring his catalog of other outrageous comments.
At a press conference on Tuesday, Yiannopolous apologized for his comments, which he said were twisted by the media but were nonetheless wrong, and repeated his assertion that he does not advocate for sex with minors. “I don’t believe sex with 13-year-olds is OK,” he said.
Part of the comments Yiannopoulos apologized for involved him discussing his own victimization by a Catholic priest when he was 13, an incident he said played a role in his comments. “My experience as a victim led me to believe I could say anything on the subject, no matter how outrageous,” he said during the press conference, adding that he understood how his comments “may have come across as flippancy.”
“I have never apologized before,” he said, “and I never plan to do it again.”
Yiannopoulos went on to criticize reports about his comments as the product of a “cynical media witch hunt.”
“They don’t care about children, they don’t care about victims, they only care about bringing me down,” he said.
Yiannopoulos promised to release his book later this year, despite his canceled publishing deal and said he plans to launch his own media venture. He has launched other publications in the past, prior to joining Breitbart.
Disclosure: Milo Yiannopoulos was the founder of the Kernel, a publication the Daily Dot acquired in 2014.