A platform of hatred. A plethora of racist, misogynistic and transphobic remarks. But through it all, many stood by far-right troll Milo Yiannopoulos, often defending his right to free speech.
Over the weekend, however, the Breitbart editor finally crossed what may have seemed a non-existent line, sending the American Conservative Union, publishing house Simon & Schuster and others who once supported him running.
The breaking point: defending pedophilia.
Video surfaced Sunday in which Yiannopoulos appears to condone sexual relationships between adults and 13-year-old boys, saying, “We get hung up on this kind of child abuse stuff.”
Despite a “note for idiots” on Facebook in which Yiannopoulos attempted to clarify what he said, and a subsequent post in which he took some responsibility for his comments, the fallout has been swift.
He was disinvited Monday from ACU’s annual Conservative Political Action Conference, where he was scheduled to speak along with Vice President Mike Pence, White House Chief of Staff Reince Priebus and President Donald Trump’s strategist Steve Bannon. The group’s president, Matt Schlapp, said Yiannopoulos’s response on Facebook was “insufficient.”
Among his other deserters was “alt-right” Twitter personality “Baked Alaska.”
Yiannopoulos’ offensive verbal assaults have been plentiful. Among the more memorable was a racist attack against “Saturday Night Live” and “Ghostbusters” star Leslie Jones, for which he was permanently banned from Twitter.
Violent protests this month shut down his planned appearance at the University of California, Berkeley, campus.
Unsurprisingly, many took to Twitter on Monday to blast the ACU and others, pointing out their willingness to ignore Yiannopoulos’ bigotry ― up to a certain point.
Yiannopoulos has scheduled a press conference Tuesday in New York City.