Milo Yiannopoulos resigned his position as one of Breitbart’s senior editors Tuesday after a video of the UK native discussing and advocating pedophilia resurfaced on the Internet.
Yiannopoulos, a controversial journalist and entertainer, also lost a $250,000 advance for a book that was due out later this year. However, Simon and Schuster rescinded the deal after the YouTube video of Yiannopoulos’ comments went viral.
In the January 2016 comments, Yiannopoulos says pedophilia is a phenomenon that can afford young people “security and safety and provide them with love and a reliable rock where they can’t speak to their parents.”
“I do not believe any change in the legal age of consent is justifiable or desirable,” Yiannopoulos said in the video.
“We get hung up on this kind of child abuse stuff,” and noted, “this arbitrary and oppressive idea of consent.”
Several staff writers at Breitbart reportedly threatened to quit if Yiannopoulos was not fired. The comments additionally cost Yiannopoulos a speaking gig at the upcoming Conservative Political Action Conference. The American Conservative Union, which will be hosting the conference this weekend, uninvited the embattled journalist.
Yiannopoulos defended his comments on Facebook saying that he was “guilty of imprecise language, which I regret.” He also justified the comments by his own past experience with child abuse, apparently at the hands of a Catholic priest.
“I’m partly to blame. My own 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’.”
This is not the first time the self-described free speech advocate has been in hot water. Twitter permanently banned Yiannopoulos after the social media giant deemed his tweets in violation of their harassment and abuse policies.
Yiannopoulos was also blamed for inciting a wave of racist, hate speech towards black actor Leslie Jones after he tweeted his displeasure at the new “Ghostbusters” movie as well as critiques of her physical appearance.
[NPR] [New York Daily News] [The Hill] [Washington Post] [Photo courtesy Mary Altaffer/AP via Albuquerque Journal]