The Conservative Political Action Conference has withdrawn a speaking slot from gay alt-right figure Milo Yiannopoulos, after a selectively edited video clip apparently showed him expressing support for pedophilia.
According to Politico, the American Conservative Union, which sponsors CPAC, released a statement explaining why they disinvited Yiannopoulos. According to sources familiar with the situation, the ACU’s decision was unanimous.
“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,” said Matt Schlapp, chairman of the ACU.
The statement also called on Yiannopoulos to “further address these disturbing comments,” and defended the group’s original decision to have Yiannopoulos speak about his experiences with the political Left’s attempts to silence right-wing points of view on college campuses.
Yiannopoulos shot back at the charges against him in a Facebook post titled “A note for idiots.”
“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.
“If it somehow comes across (through my own sloppy phrasing or through deceptive editing) that I meant any of the ugly things alleged, let me set the record straight: I am completely disgusted by the abuse of children.”
Yiannopoulos also argues that he has contempt for and has outed suspected pedophiles in his career as a journalist for Breitbart.
He notes that, in the same interview now making the rounds, he said he agreed with the current age of consent, and apologizes for using the word “boy” when he talks about relationships between older and younger gay men, saying: “Gay men often use the word ‘boy’ when they refer to consenting adults. I understand that heterosexual people might not know that, so it was a sloppy choice of words that I regret.”
“This rush to judgment from establishment conservatives who hate Trump as much as they hate me, before I have had any chance to provide context or a response, is one of the big reasons gays vote Democrat,” Yiannopoulos writes. “In case there is any lingering doubt, here’s me, in the same interview the other footage is taken from, affirming that the current legal age of consent is about right: ‘And I think the law is probably about right. It’s probably roughly the right age. I think it’s probably about ok. But there are certainly people who are capable of giving consent at a younger age. I certainly consider myself to be one of them, people who were sexually active younger. I think it particularly happens in the gay world, by the way.'”
However, the ACU’s Schlapp said in his statement that Yiannopoulos’ Facebook post and the apology contained within were “insufficient.”
These are challenging times for news organizations. And yet it’s crucial we stay active and provide vital resources and information to both our local readers and the world. So won’t you please take a moment and consider supporting Metro Weekly with a membership? For as little as $5 a month, you can help ensure Metro Weekly magazine and MetroWeekly.com remain free, viable resources as we provide the best, most diverse, culturally-resonant LGBTQ coverage in both the D.C. region and around the world. Memberships come with exclusive perks and discounts, your own personal digital delivery of each week’s magazine (and an archive), access to our Member's Lounge when it launches this fall, and exclusive members-only items like Metro Weekly Membership Mugs and Tote Bags! Check out all our membership levels here and please join us today!