Controversial, gay, right-wing journalist Milo Yiannopoulos has taken to Facebook to issue a condemnation of pedophilia and child abuse after being accused of defending sex with minors.
The Facebook statement follows comments he made on a 2016 podcast concerning clerical abuse and underage sex.
Although broadcast 4 January 2016, an edited video of the conversation has gone viral on social media following the news that Yiannopoulos will be a guest speaker at this year’s CPAC (Conservative Political Action Conference) in Maryland.
CPAC, organized by the American Conservative Union, takes place 22-25 February.
In the ‘Drunken Peasants’ podcast show, Yiannopoulos joked about having sex while as a teenage school boy with one of the priests who taught him. He said it was one of the reasons that he gave ‘good head’, and that the relationship had been fully consensual.
Where Milo, who is the voice of the Alt-Right and the keynote speaker of CPAC, openly defends pedophile priests & pedophilia in general. pic.twitter.com/HQzU25sury
— Shaun King (@ShaunKing) February 20, 2017
He said it was he who had been the predatory one in the relationship, that he had not suffered any harm, and implied that such relationships were not always wrong. He suggested that some young boys ‘discover who they are’ through such relationships.
His supporters have said that controversy about his comments about underage sex are an attempt to smear him ahead of his CPAC appearance.
‘I shouldn’t have used the word “boy” when I talked about those relationships’
Yiannopolous is a leading light of the so-called ‘alt-right’ movement. Last year he was banned from Twitter for controversial comments about the actress Leslie Jones. He posted a statement on Facebook last night in which he defended the interview and sought to clarify his comments.
‘I do not support pedophilia. Period. It is a vile and disgusting crime, perhaps the very worst,’ he said.
‘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 went on to say that he had personally outed three pedophiles during his career as a journalist and had repeatedly expressed disgust for pedophiles in his writing.
‘I have never defended and would never defend child abusers, as my reporting history shows. The world is messy and complicated, and I recognize it as such, as this furore demonstrates. But that is a red line for any decent person.
‘The videos do not show what people say they show. I *did* joke about giving better head as a result of clerical sexual abuse committed against me when I was a teen. If I choose to deal in an edgy way on an internet livestream with a crime I was the victim of that’s my prerogative. It’s no different to gallows humor from AIDS sufferers.
‘I did say that there are relationships between younger men and older men that can help a young gay man escape from a lack of support or understanding at home. That’s perfectly true and every gay man knows it. But I was not talking about anything illegal and I was not referring to pre-pubescent boys.’
‘Gay men often use the word “boy” when they refer to consenting adults’
He does concede that he could have chosen his words better.
‘I shouldn’t have used the word “boy” when I talked about those relationships between older men and younger gay men. (I was talking about my own relationship when I was 17 with a man who was 29. The age of consent in the UK is 16.)
‘That was a mistake. Gay men often use the word “boy” when they refer to consenting adults. I understand that heterosexual people might not know that, so it was a sloppy choice of words that I regret.
He stated that he believed the age of consent is ‘probably roughly the right age … But there are certainly people who are capable of giving consent at a younger age. I certainly consider myself to be one of them, people who were sexually active younger. I think it particularly happens in the gay world, by the way.”’
Yiannopolous is a senior editor with Briebart news. Book publisher Simon & Schuster was widely criticized for offering him a $250,000 book deal last year. That book, Dangerous, is published in the summer.
During a debate segment of the HBO show he derided the other guests for being stupid. This prompted one, Larry Wilmore, to tell Yiannopolous to ‘Go fuck yourself.’
UPDATE 21.02.17: After this article was published on Monday (20 February) it was announced that Yiannopolous had lost his book deal with Simon & Schuster and had had his invitation to speak at CPAC 2017 rescinded.