Milo Yiannopoulos announced February 21 that he has resigned from Breitbart News Network, effective immediately.
Yiannopoulos is a British journalist, author, public speaker and was the senior editor for Breitbart News. The right-wing news organization sent out a statement minutes following Milo’s resignation:
Here’s what you need to know about the situation and why Yiannopoulos resigned:
1. Milo Quit Amid Controversy
Yiannopoulos became no stranger to gaining controversy in his time at Breitbart.
On February 19, a video made the rounds on social media which showed him advocating “cross generational” sexual relationships between boys and older men.
He described in the video how he feels that sexual relationships between boys and older men can be positive, later denying that he was defending pedophilia during the interview. He said that the term refers to younger children, not “someone who is 13-year-old, who is sexually mature.” He issued a response to the video surfacing February 19 saying, “I do not support pedophilia.”
Milo said in his resignation letter that despite past controversy, Breitbart News has “stood by me when others caved.” He described lines used during the controversial interview as being a “poor choice of words” that may have detracted “my colleagues’ important reporting.”
2. He Held a Press Conference About the Situation February 21
Milo opened a press conference held after his resignation February 21 by saying, “I am a gay man, and a child abuse victim, my relationship with my abusers is complicated by the fact that, at the time, I did not perceive what was happening to me as abusive. I can look back now and see that it was. I still don’t view myself as a victim. But I am one.”
He later added in the speech about the videos that surfaced:
I’ve reviewed the tapes that appeared last night in their proper full context and I don’t believe they say what is being reported. Nonetheless I do say some things on the tapes that I do not mean and which do not reflect my views. My experiences as a victim led me to believe I could say anything I wanted to on this subject, no matter how outrageous. But I understand that my usual blend of British sarcasm, provocation and gallows humor might have come across as flippancy, a lack of care for other victims or, worse, “advocacy.” I am horrified by that impression.
Milo ended the press conference that the situation surrounding his comments is a “politically-motivated witch hunt.”
3. Reports Said Other Breitbart Employees Refused to Work If He Wasn’t Fired
According to a report from the Washingtonian, a senior editor said that “at least a half-dozen” employees were prepared to leave the right-wing publication if he wasn’t fired after the incident.
4. Milo’s Invite to Speak At CPAC Was Withdrawn & Book Deal Was Canceled
Yiannopoulos was slated to speak at the annual Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) later this week, but the invitation was rescinded February 20.
Other speakers at CPAC, which starts Thursday, include President Donald Trump, Vice President Mike Pence, Sen. Ted Cruz, White House Chief of Staff Reince Priebus and EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt.
That’s when things started to unravel for Milo, as his controversial book, titled “Dangerous” was cancelled by its publisher. The company said in a statement that they pulled the book deal because of the controversial pedophilia comments.
After careful consideration, Simon & Schuster and its Threshold Editions imprint have canceled publication of Dangerous by Milo Yiannopoulos.
The incidents built up and ultimately left to Yiannopoulos announcing his resignation.
5. Milo Has Given Speeches At Universities That Ignited Violent Protests
Yiannopolous started a campus speaking tour in 2015 called “The Dangerous Faggot Tour” and spoke at universities in the United States and in Great Britain, though a number of the ones in Great Britain were canceled.
The speaking engagements received notable protest, some which turned violent.
He’s spoken at Rutgers University, the University of Minnesota, DePaul University, UCLA, Michigan State University, the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, the University of Washington and UC-Berkeley.
When he spoke at Rutgers, female protesters stood up and spread red paint on their faces, chanting “Black Lives Matter.” At Minnesota, about 40 protesters showed up around the event with a few finding their way into the event before being escorted out by security.
When he spoke in Washington, large protests were outside the event. They turned violent when a brick and fireworks were thrown by those protesting Donald Trump’s inauguration. A 34-year-old man was also shot while protesting at the event and survived. The man who shot him was a known supporter of Yiannopoulos and Trump.
Milo was scheduled to speak at Berkely and over 1,500 protesters gathered around the campus and about 150 “masked agitators” came and set fires, damaged property, threw fireworks, attacked members of the crowd and threw rocks at police, the university said.