February 21, 2017
Milo loses book deal as Breitbart employees threaten to walk if he's not fired
The fallout continues from remarks made by Milo Yianopoulos last January where he spoke approvingly of sex between grown men and teen boys. Last night, the publisher of Yiannopoulos's book, Simon and Schuster, canceled his book contract while at least a half a dozen employees at Breitbart are threatening to quit if he isn't fired.
Employees at Breitbart News are reportedly prepared to leave the company if controversial senior editor Milo Yiannopoulos is not fired.
Another senior editor at the publication told WashingtonianMonday that "at least a half dozen" employees are prepared to leave to organization because of remarks Yiannopoulos made about pedophilia that gained attention this weekend.“The fact of the matter is that there’s been so many things that have been objectionable about Milo over the last couple of years, quite frankly. This is something far more sinister,” the senior editor said.“If the company isn’t willing to act, there are at least half a dozen people who are willing to walk out over it.”Yiannopoulos was supposed to speak at the Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) this week, but his invitation to speak was rescinded on Monday.The decision comes amid controversy over a 2016 video in which Yiannopoulos appears to defend pedophilia. The video clip was posted on YouTube last January, but gained new traction on social media after a conservative blog shared it Sunday.In the video, Yiannopoulos says relationships between older men and young boys can be beneficial and he flippantly discusses his own sexual assault.Yiannopoulos denounced claims that he was advocating for pedophilia in a Facebook post Monday."I am a gay man, and a child abuse victim,” Yiannopoulos wrote. "I would like to restate my utter disgust at adults who sexually abuse minors. I am horrified by pedophilia and I have devoted large portions of my career as a journalist to exposing child abusers. I've outed three of them, in fact -- three more than most of my critics. And I've repeatedly expressed disgust at pedophilia in my feature and opinion writing. My professional record is very clear.”"But I do understand that these videos, even though some of them are edited deceptively, paint a different picture.
Despite all of this, I have no doubt that Milo will land on his feet and continue plying his trade as a right wing provocateur. And while Simon and Schuster may have dropped him, another publisher will probablly come along, another job offer if he's canned by Breitbart, and lots and lots of invites to speak before audiences that either love him or hate him.
Milo is a bankable commodity and will continue to be so -- that is, until he really steps in it. And that is virtually guaranteed by the nature of his persona and the demands of his celebrity.
Yiannopoulos is already finding it more and more difficult to top "over the top." How many times can he utter controversial comments about race, gender, and religion without having to outdo his own standards to be objectionable? The mob demands new and exciting insults, provocative statements, and inventive ways to troll political opponents. Eventually, going over the top means that Milo will hit a ceiling. And that's when the real fall will occur.
His "explanation" for what he meant in that video from January is disingenuous but probably accurate. He was trying to get a rise out of people and it backfired.
Some day, he'll step so far over the line that he won't be able to jump back.