Milo Yiannopoulos has had a tumultous 24 hours. The controversial writer had his Simon & Schuster book deal revoked and was presumably forced to resign from his editor position at Breitbart after a video of him endorsing sex between “younger boys and older men” resurfaced online. Yiannopoulos, who was the victim of sexual abuse by a priest as a teenager, credited his sexual prowess to his abuser, adding “Pedophilia is not a sexual attraction to somebody 13 years old who is sexually mature… Pedophilia is attraction to children who have not reached puberty.”
In a press conference yesterday, Yiannopoulos addressed the comments and his resignation.
“It would be wrong to allow my poor choice of words to detract from my colleagues’ important reporting, so today I am resigning from Breitbart, effectively immediately. This decision is mine alone,” he said in a statement. His full press conference script is below.
But there’s more to Yiannopoulos than his most recent controversy. Here’s what else you need to know.
1. Yiannopoulos first became Twitter’s arch nemisis in 2015.
After changing his Twitter bio to read “Buzzfeed social justice editor” and tweeting “You deserve to be harassed you social justice loser,” Yiannopoulos lost the verification badge next to his name in 2015 and condemned the social media outlet for their decision.
“The primary purpose of verification is to combat impersonation,” Yiannopoulos told BuzzFeed News in an emailed statement. “I can’t think of anyone on the internet more impersonated (whether out of affection or otherwise) than me.”
In a separate email he wrote, “They’re using a tool for establishing the identity of prominent people as an ideological weapon. Any one of you could be next — you know how the Left loves to turn on its allies!”
2. The feud heightened in June of 2016 after he was suspended from Twitter.
After the shooting at Orlando’s Pulse nightclub, Yiannopoulos wrote numerous controversial tweets about Islam. His account was suspended as a result, but was eventually restored.
3. He became a household name in 2016 when he was suspended from Twitter indefinitely.
While some say it was a longtime coming, Yiannopoulos was officially banned from Twitter in 2016 after he posted inflammatory tweets about actress Leslie Jones, who was harrassed by internet trolls over her film Ghostbusters prior to his posts.
“If at first you don’t succeed (because your work is terrible), play the victim. EVERYONE GETS HATE MAIL FFS,” Yiannopoulos tweeted. “Ghostbusters is doing so badly they’ve deployed @Lesdoggg to play the victim on Twitter. Very sad!”
That night, Yiannopoulos said he received an email from Twitter saying his account was “suspended for repeated violations of the Twitter rules,” specifically for inflicting abuse. The email added that his account would not be restored. Since then, an active Twitter campaign called #FreeMilo circulated among his supporters.
4. He’s a Donald Trump supporter
Not that this should come as a surprise, considering he worked for Steve Bannon. What is surprising (and mildly disturbing) is that he refers to the new president as “Daddy.” Do what you will with that information.
5. He set up a privilege grant.
In an effort to be more inclusive (LOL), he created the Yiannopoulos Privilege Grant, which aimed to reward white men looking to continue their education beyond an undergraduate degree. He reportedly raised $100,000 to $250,000, but the Daily Beast found that he never filed the paperwork to make it a legitimate charity. He later admitted that he hadn’t donated any of the money yet.
“The initial flurry of interest in the Privilege Grant, and my skyrocketing media profile, left us behind on logistics,” he told the Daily Beast. “This was compounded by our previous administrator leaving the team. I am pleased to have Colin [Madine] leading the Privilege Grant team so we can begin to help students achieve their college dreams in short order.”