After earlier in the day, Breitbart Editor-in-Chief Alex Marlow said we can expect to learn later today whether the site will retain alt-right provocateur Milo Yiannopoulos after video surfaced of the writer justifying sex between adult men and minors, many expected that a resignation was inevitable. On Breitbart's radio show this morning, Marlow and Breitbart Washington editor Matt Boyle both described Yiannopoulos' comments as "not defensible."
Fast forward a few hours when moments ago Milo's sudden fall from grace was complete, with his announcement that he is resigning from Breitbart News.
His press release is below:
Milo Yiannopoulos Resigns From Breitbart News Network
New York, NY — February 21, 2017 — Today, Milo Yiannopoulos, Senior Editor at Breitbart News, announced his resignation from the company.
"Breitbart News has stood by me when others caved. They have allowed me to carry conservative and libertarian ideas to communities that would otherwise never have heard them. They have been a significant factor in my success. I'm grateful for that freedom and for the friendships I forged there.
I would be wrong to allow my poor choice of words to detract from my colleagues' important reporting, so today I am resigning from Breitbart, effective immediately. This decision is mine alone.
When your friends have done right by you, you do right by them. For me, now, that means stepping aside so my colleagues at Breitbart can get back to the great work they do."
Yiannopoulos will hold a snap press conference in New York City at 3 p.m. on Tuesday.
As a reminder, video posted on Youtube in January 2016 reemerged over the weekend showing Yiannopoulos saying a relationship between an adult man and teenage boy can be beneficial. He also discussed his own sexual abuse as a teenager. The fallout from the video reverberated throughout the political world and social media over the holiday weekend and earned swift condemnation from both sides of aisle.
(CPAC) on Monday rescinded his invitation to speak at the annual conservative conference. American Conservative Union chairman Matt Schlapp called his comments “disturbing.” Also Monday, Simon & Schuster cancelled a deal to publish Yiannopoulos’s upcoming book, “Dangerous.”
Yiannopoulos addressed the controversy in two Facebook posts on Monday. He denounced claims that he was advocating for pedophilia, while also expressing some regret for his past remarks. He also argued that the videos were “edited deceptively.”
“I’m partly to blame. My own experiences as a victim led me to believe I could say anything I wanted to on this subject, no matter how outrageous,” he said. "But I understand that my usual blend of British sarcasm, provocation and gallows humor might have come across as flippancy, a lack of care for other victims or, worse, 'advocacy.' I deeply regret that.”
Yiannopoulos also said he has “repeatedly expressed disgust” about pedophilia through his previous writing and noted that he has “outed” three child abusers.
"I am a gay man, and a child abuse victim,” he wrote on Facebook. "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.”
Ahead of Yiannopoulos’s resignation, Breitbart editor-in-chief Alex Marlow criticized the senior editor, calling his comments “not defensible.”
Breitbart employees reportedly threatened an exodus of “at least a half dozen” employees if the publication didn’t fire Yiannopoulos.
As The Hill notes, Yiannopoulos has become a magnet for controversy in recent days. Earlier this month, he had a scheduled speech at the University of California, Berkeley which drew national attention after protests erupted opposing his appearance and later turned violent.