Milo Yiannopoulos has resigned from his position as senior editor for Breitbart News.
It follows the release of video clips with selectively edited comments in which he appeared to condone sexual relationships between young boys and men.
In a statement, Yiannopoulos said he made the decision to leave independently.
“Breitbart News has stood by me when others caved,” he said. “They have allowed me to carry conservative and libertarian ideas to communities that otherwise never would have heard them. They have been a significant factor in my success. I’m grateful for that freedom and for the friendships I forged there.
“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. This decision is mine alone.
“When your friends have done right by you, you do right by them,” he concluded. “For me, that means stepping aside so my colleagues at Breitbart can get back to the great work they do.”
But according to The Washington Examiner, several employees had said they’d quit Breitbart News if Yiannopoulos was not terminated, with half a dozen employees threatening to walk out.
The threat of walk-outs occurred after video clips of an interview Yiannpoulos gave to The Drunken Peasants Podcast emerged, edited in a way to suggest that he was condoning pedophilia. Backlash from social conservatives ensued, prompting the Conservative Political Action Conference to rescind its invitation to have Yiannopoulos give the keynote speech at the conference, which takes place from Feb. 22-25 at National Harbor.
Yiannopoulos subsequently responded via Facebook, in a post where he said he was disgusted by adults who sexually abuse minors, and apologized for his poor word choice. In the interview, Yiannopoulos actually said he agreed with the current age of consent for engaging in sexual conduct, though he suggested that a few select individuals — himself included — were mature enough to decide on their own.
“I do not support pedophilia. Period. It is a vile and disgusting crime, perhaps the very worst,” Yiannopoulos wrote. “There are selectively edited videos doing the rounds, as part of a co-ordinated effort to discredit me from establishment Republicans, that suggest I am soft on the subject.”
He also apologized for using the word “boy” when talking about relationships between older and younger gay men of legal age — something he notes that heterosexual people unfamiliar with the gay community might misinterpret as condoning pedophilia.
But another senior editor at Breitbart badmouthed Yiannopoulos to the Washingtonian, slamming the right-wing provocateur for his comments.
“Talking about young boys and somehow seeking to ameliorate concerns over young boys’ relationships with older men … I’m pretty sure everyone in the company would vomit upon hearing these words,” the editor said. “What right-thinking person doesn’t feel sick to their stomach when hearing something like that?”
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