Milo Yiannopoulos a Breitbart contributor, speaker, and political provocateur has made the headlines yet again. Early on February 20th a video surfaced of Milo speaking in terms of support for 13-year-old boys having the ability of consent to have intercourse with older men. He leaned on his own sexual abuse as a child to support his point of view, even going so far as to claim that he has become expert in particular sexual acts because of his experiences.
The surfacing of this video created a firestorm of activity on social media as well as a frenzy around Yiannopoulos’ upcoming speaking engagement at CPAC. The provocateur has since lost his book deal with Simon & Schuster and was uninvited to CPAC. ACU Chairman Matt Schlapp released the following statement after removing Yiannopoulos from this week’s CPAC lineup:
“Due to the revelation of an offensive video in the past 24 hours condoning pedophilia, the American Conservative Union has decided to rescind the invitation of Milo Yiannopoulos to speak at the Conservative Political Action Conference.
We realize that Mr. Yiannopoulos has responded on Facebook, but it is insufficient. It is up to him to answer the tough questions and we urge him to immediately further address these disturbing comments.
We initially extended the invitation knowing that the free speech issue on college campuses is a battlefield where we need brave, conservative standard-bearers.
Over 100 people will speak at CPAC starting Wednesday. We give great thought to who is invited to speak, but the CPAC platform is not an endorsement to everything a speaker says or does. We continue to believe that CPAC is a constructive forum for controversies and disagreements among conservatives, however there is no disagreement among out attendees on the evils of sexual abuse of children.”
CPAC has certainly had several speakers in the past that many conservatives had voiced that their stance does not align with the constitutional principles we all are fighting to uphold (here’s looking at you, Mitch McConnell), but none so controversial as Mile Yiannopoulos, who is believed to be a strong voice in the alt-right movement.
American Conservative Union board member Ned Ryun declared that he and other board members were not made aware of the initial invitation of Yiannopoulos as a speaker. In an interview with conservative firecracker and fellow CPAC speaker Dana Loesch, Ryun explains the details behind the controversy that led to the dismissal of Yiannopoulos as speaker. Ryun goes on to explain that although he and all conservatives believe in the first amendment protection of free speech and would fight for Milo to say and align himself anyway he chooses, conservatives must be discerning of whom they align themselves with. The CPAC board member went on to say that CPAC is a platform for different conservative views but does not give the alt-right the power of association with the conservative movement. To see the full interview click here.
While Yiannopoulos has certainly walked back his support of pedophilia since the surfacing of his video, comments once said cannot always be undone. And a career and life can suffer for it. Milo has obviously felt the effects of what such comments can cause, but will this be the death knell to his career? Many may be backing away from Milo and his platform, but his base only seems to be solidifying in defense of their idol. Only time will truly tell if Milo Yiannopoulas has done himself in this time.
Featured image via YouTube