Editor and conservative provocateur Milo Yiannopoulos has resigned from his post at Breitbart News following the circulation of a video documenting his controversial comments about pedophilia.
Earlier this week, the video circulated via social media in an effort to discredit Yiannopoulos ahead of his scheduled appearance at the Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC). Soon after, Yiannopoulos's invitation to CPAC was rescinded. And Monday afternoon, Simon & Schuster announced that it would be cancelling the publication of Yiannopoulos's book “Dangerous” — a $250,000 deal.
According to the tapes circulated widely across the internet, Yiannopoulos said in part:
“We get hung up on this child abuse stuff, to the point where we are heavily policing relationships between consenting adults.”
Further, he added that relationships between young boys and older men help these boys “discover who they are.”
Tuesday, Breitbart editor Alex Marlow said his colleague's comments were “absolutely indefensible.” However, he added, the coverage appeared to be a “coordinated hit”:
"[Milo] was in the news for unfortunate reasons yesterday. It was something that was a total surprise to people in the Breitbart organization that there’s video that surfaced that appeared to show him justifying sex between an adult and a minor, at least in certain circumstances, which was very troubling and upsetting. [...] The bottom line is the comments on the video are not defensible.
In an effort to defend himself, Yiannopoulos held a press conference Tuesday afternoon to both apologize and clarify his statements. Although he said he rarely apologizes for his comments, as a child abuse victim, Yiannopoulos said he felt that he had to say something.
He read a statement:
“[I]n the proper context, and I don't believe that they are saying 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 that I could say almost anything on the subject, no matter how outrageous. But I understand that my usual blend of sassy gay British sarcasm, provocation, and gallows humor might have come across as flippancy, a lack of care for other victims, or even worse [...] advocacy.”
Yiannopoulos also added that he will be launching a new media venture, a new college campus tour, and his book will be released as planned, with 10% of the proceeds going toward child abuse charities.