Video clips of Breitbart editor Milo Yiannopoulos discussing the value of sexual relationships between older men and “boys’’ emerged on the Internet in response to reports that the right-wing provocateur had been invited to speak at the annual Conservative Political Action Conference this week.
The disclosures have also renewed calls on the Internet for Simon & Schuster to reconsider publishing Yiannopoulos’s upcoming book, “Dangerous.’’
The video was tweeted out by the Reagan Battalion, a conservative blog. In it Yiannopoulos describes a relationship he had when he was younger with a Catholic priest and he goes on to say: “In the homosexual world particularly, some of those relationships between younger boys and older men the sort of coming of age relationships in which those older men have helped those young boys to discover who they are and give them security and safety. . .’’
On his Facebook page Yiannopoulos sought to clarify his position. “I do not support pedophilia. Period. It is a vile and disgusting crime, perhaps the very worst. 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.’’
He noted that his own personal relationship took place “when I was 17 with a man who was 29. The age of consent in the UK is 16.’’
The disclosure of the clips have ignited calls online for CPAC to reconsider its invitation.
Ned Ryun, a member of the CPAC board, opposed having Yiannopoulos speak, tweeting “This isn’t about free speech. This is about decency.’’
Simon & Schuster had faced significant opposition to its decision to publish Yiannopoulos’s book, including calls for a boycott of the publisher’s books and a decision by writer Roxane Gay to pull an upcoming book in protest.
S&S has not yet responded to requests for comment.
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