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Milo Yiannopoulos

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Milo Yiannopoulos
Milo Yiannopoulos, Journalist, Broadcaster and Entrepreneur-1441 (8961808556) cropped.jpg
Yiannopoulos in 2013
Born Milo Hanrahan[1]
(1984-10-18) 18 October 1984 (age 32)
Kent, England
Residence Miami, Florida, U.S.
Nationality British
Other names Milo Andreas Wagner
Occupation Journalist, author
Years active 2007–present
Movement Alt-right
Cultural libertarianism
Conservatism
Website yiannopoulos.net

Milo Yiannopoulos (/jəˈnɒpᵿləs/;[2] born Milo Hanrahan; 18 October 1984; also writing under the pen name Milo Andreas Wagner[3][4]) is a British media personality associated with the political alt-right[5]. In an interview to Channel 4 Milo talked about his relationship with the movement - "We're fellow travellers on some issues. But I’m very pro-Iraq, I’m very pro-Israel. There are all sorts of points of difference, I think".[6]. A former senior editor for Breitbart News, he describes himself as a "cultural libertarian,"[7] he is a vocal critic of feminism, Islam, social justice, political correctness, and other movements and ideologies he sees as authoritarian or left wing.

Born and raised in Kent, Yiannopoulos is of mixed British, Irish, and Greek heritage. After being expelled from Simon Langton Grammar School for Boys, he studied at the University of Manchester and Wolfson College, Cambridge but failed to gain a degree from either. He began working in technology journalism for The Telegraph before co-running The Kernel, which was devoted to technology journalism, from 2011 to 2013. He was one of the first journalists to cover the Gamergate controversy. In 2015 he began work at Breitbart, attracting attention for his opinions and his association with the alt-right. He relocated to the United States, where he became a vocal supporter of Donald Trump's presidential candidature. In July 2016 he was permanently banned from Twitter for what the company cited as "inciting or engaging in the targeted abuse or harassment of others".

In February 2017 he resigned from Breitbart after a controversy arising from a video clip in which he said that sexual relationships between 13-year-old boys and adult men and women can be "perfectly consensual" and positive experiences for the boys.[8] Defending himself amid allegations that he was a supporter of paedophilia, Yiannopoulos stated that his statements were an attempt to cope with his own past victimhood, as an object of child abuse by unidentified older men.

Early life

As Milo Hanrahan, Yiannopoulos was born and raised in Kent in southern England.[9][1] His father is of half Greek and half Irish descent, while his mother is British.[10][11][12] Yiannopoulos claims his father wanted to divorce his mother while she was pregnant with him, however, his parents remained together for six more years.[11] Raised by his mother and her second husband, Yiannopoulos states he did not have a good relationship with his stepfather. He has further described his biological father as "terrifying," remarking at one point, "I would think, if my dad is just a doorman, why do we have such a nice house? Then I saw it on The Sopranos."[11] As a teenager, Yiannopoulos lived with his paternal grandmother, who regularly took him for high tea at Claridge's, and whose surname he later adopted.[1][11][13]

Yiannopoulos was educated at Simon Langton Grammar School for Boys in Canterbury from which he has said he was expelled.[14] He attended the University of Manchester but dropped out before graduating; he then read English at Wolfson College, Cambridge but was sent down[15] in 2010. During a 2012 interview he said of dropping out, "I try to tell myself I'm in good company, but ultimately it doesn't say great things about you unless you go on to terrific success in your own right."[16]

A practising Roman Catholic, Yiannopoulos states he has Jewish ancestry on his maternal grandmother's side,[17][18] which has put him at odds with neo-Nazi adherents in the alt-right.[19]

Career

Yiannopoulos in 2014

Originally interested in becoming a theatre critic, Yiannopoulos became interested in technology journalism while investigating the subject of women in computing in 2009 for The Daily Telegraph.[20]

Yiannopoulos has debated same-sex marriage on Newsnight,[21] and on Channel 4's 10 O'Clock Live with Boy George.[22] He opposed the provision of "Soho masses."[23] In November 2013, he debated with singer Will Young on Newsnight about the use of the word "gay" in the playground,[24] and with rapper Tinchy Stryder on the same programme in May 2014, about copyright infringement and music piracy.[25] In March 2015, he appeared on The Big Questions, discussing topics relating to feminism and discrimination against men in the United Kingdom.[26]

In 2017 he was nominated to stand in the election for rector of the University of Glasgow to succeed Edward Snowden, a post elected by students of the University of Glasgow in Scotland; he came fourth with 533 votes to Aamer Anwar's 4,500.[27]

The Telegraph Tech Start-Up 100

Yiannopoulos organised a method of ranking the most promising technology start-ups in Europe, The Telegraph Tech Start-Up 100, in 2011. It operated through an events company called Wrong Agency, started by Yiannopoulos and David Rosenberg, a friend from Cambridge University. The company was dissolved shortly after the ceremony that awarded the top start-up.[4] Mike Butcher of TechCrunch said the main prize had been given to music streaming service Spotify, even though his casting vote had gone to the controversial payday loan company Wonga, because the Telegraph considered Wonga's reputation objectionable.[28]

The Kernel

Together with university friends David Rosenberg and David Haywood Smith, journalist Stephen Pritchard and former Telegraph employee Adrian McShane, Yiannopoulos launched The Kernel in November 2011 to "fix European technology journalism."[29] The Kernel was at that time owned by Sentinel Media.

In 2012, the online magazine became embroiled in a legal dispute with one of its contributors after he said it failed to pay money owed to him.[4] The Kernel closed in March 2013, with thousands of pounds owed to former contributor Jason Hesse when he won a summary judgement from an employment tribunal against parent company Sentinel Media. Margot Huysman, whom Yiannopoulos had appointed associate editor and was one of the people seeking payment, said that many working for the site had been "screwed over" personally and financially.[30] Yiannopoulos also threatened, via email, to release embarrassing details and photographs of a Kernel contributor who sought payment for their work for the site and he also accused the contributor of being behind the "majority of damage to The Kernel." The unnamed contributor told The Guardian that the emails had been referred to the police.[31]

German venture capital vehicle BERLIN42 acquired The Kernel's assets in early 2013. The website displayed plans for a relaunch in August 2013 with fresh investment and Yiannopoulos reinstated as editor-in-chief.[32] BERLIN42 founding partner Aydogan Ali Schosswald would join its newly formed publishing company, Kernel Media, as chief executive. Yiannopoulos personally paid six former contributors money that the defunct company was unable to pay.[32] Parent company Sentinel Media Ltd was eventually dissolved on 18 February 2014 after being struck off by Companies House.[33]

The Independent on Sunday reported that the relaunched publication, based between London and Berlin, would focus on "modern warfare, neuroscience, artificial intelligence, pornography and space travel" from August, but newsletter The Nutshell would not return.[34] In 2014, The Kernel was acquired by the parent company of The Daily Dot, Daily Dot Media. After the acquisition by Daily Dot Media, Yiannopoulos stepped down as editor-in-chief though he remained an adviser to the company.[35]

Milo Yiannopoulos Methodist Central Hall Westminster London June 2013.jpg
Speaking at Methodist Central Hall, Westminster, London, June 2013

Gamergate

Yiannopoulos played a role in early news coverage of the Gamergate controversy, criticising what he saw as the politicisation of video game culture by "an army of sociopathic feminist programmers and campaigners, abetted by achingly politically correct American tech bloggers."[36][37][38] In December 2014, he announced he was working on a book about Gamergate.[39]

As part of his coverage of Gamergate, he published correspondence from GameJournoPros, a private mailing list used by video game journalists to discuss industry related topics.[40][41] Yiannopoulos said that the list was evidence that journalists were colluding to offer negative coverage of Gamergate.[42] Kyle Orland, the creator of the list, responded to the leak on Ars Technica. Orland disputed the claim that the list suggested collusion among journalists, but said that he had written a message saying several things that he later regretted.[43] Carter Dotson of pocketgamer.biz said that the list was indicative of an echo chamber effect in the gaming press.[44]

During the controversy, Yiannopoulos said that he received a syringe filled with an unknown substance through the post,[45][46] as well as a dead animal.

In May 2015, a meetup in Washington D.C. for supporters of Gamergate arranged by Yiannopoulos and Christina Hoff Sommers was targeted by a bomb threat made over Twitter, according to the local police responding to information supplied by the FBI.[47] Similarly, three months later in August 2015, an event at the Koubek Center in Miami sponsored by the Society of Professional Journalists was targeted by bomb threats, forcing the evacuation of the building and the suspension of a panel with Yiannopoulos and Sommers.[48][49][50][51]

Breitbart Tech

In October 2015, the Breitbart News Network placed Yiannopoulos in charge of its new "Breitbart Tech" section. The site has six full-time staff, including an eSports specialist,[52][53] and was edited by Yiannopoulos until his resignation on 21 February 2017.[54]

Yiannopoulos Privilege Grant

In January 2016, Yiannopoulos co-founded the Yiannopoulos Privilege Grant with Margaret MacLennan.[55] The grant planned to disburse 50 grants of $2,500 to disadvantaged white men to assist them with their tertiary expenses, starting in the 2016–17 academic year; 100 grants of the same amount would be disbursed in the second year, and 200 in the third.[56] The Privilege Grant's official website was temporarily taken down due to DDoS attacks.[57] As of August 2016, the grant scheme had not paid out any money or filed paperwork to become a charity in the United States.[58]

McLennan, formerly bursary manager of the grant, posted criticism of it on social media in August 2016, saying it was mismanaged and that she had stopped managing the grant the previous March because she hadn't been paid and that the movement had ceased.[59][60] Yiannopoulos apologised for mismanaging the grant and admitted that he had missed a deadline for turning donations into bursaries. He denied speculation he had spent the money and blamed a busy schedule. He appointed a new fund administrator, and a pilot grant had been scheduled to begin the following spring, with full disbursement in the 2017/18 academic year.[59] On 31 March 2017, the Privilege Grant website reported that ten applicants had been selected to receive pilot project grants.[61]

Controversies

Sexuality

While Yiannopoulos is openly gay, he has stated that gay rights are detrimental to humanity, and that gay men should "get back in the closet".[62] He has described being gay as "aberrant" and "a lifestyle choice guaranteed to bring [gay people] pain and unhappiness."[63]

Some have accused Yiannopoulos of exaggerating his homosexuality for comic effect, with James Kirchick alleging that Yiannopoulos engages in a form of "gay blackface."[18] Kevin Williamson in the National Review argued that "Milo Yiannopoulos of Breitbart London has done more to put homosexual camp in the service of right-wing authoritarianism than any man has since the fellows at Hugo Boss sewed all those nifty SS uniforms."[64]

Feminism

Yiannopoulos and feminist Julie Bindel were scheduled to participate in October 2015 in the University of Manchester Free Speech and Secular Society's debate ′From liberation to censorship: does modern feminism have a problem with free speech?′. However, the Students' Union banned first Bindel, then also Yiannopoulos.[65] The Union cited Bindel's comments on transgender women and Yiannopoulos' opinions on rape culture and stated that both breached the Union's safe-space policy.[66][67]

Yiannopoulos was scheduled to talk at Bristol University the following month.[68] After protesters attempted to have him banned from the university, the event became a debate between Yiannopoulos and The Daily Telegraph blogger and feminist Rebecca Reid.[69]

Twitter controversies and permanent ban

In December 2015, Twitter briefly suspended Yiannopoulos' account after he changed his profile to describe himself as BuzzFeed's "social justice editor."[70] His Twitter account's blue "verification" checkmark was removed by the site the following month.[70] Twitter declined to give an explanation for the removal of verification, saying that they do not comment on individual cases.[71] Some news outlets speculated that Yiannopoulos had violated its speech and harassment codes, as with an instance where he told another user that they "deserved to be harassed."[72][73] Others worried that Twitter was targeting conservatives.[74][75][76]

In March 2016, Yiannopoulos acquired accreditation for a White House press briefing for the first time.[77]

For his criticism of Islam after the 2016 Orlando nightclub shooting, a terrorist attack on a gay nightclub, his Twitter account was briefly suspended in June 2016. His account was later restored.[78]

In July 2016, Yiannopoulos panned the Ghostbusters reboot as "a movie to help lonely middle-aged women feel better about being left on the shelf."[79] After the film's release, Twitter trolls attacked African-American actress Leslie Jones with racist slurs and bigoted commentary. Yiannopoulos wrote three public tweets about Jones, saying "Ghostbusters is doing so badly they've deployed [Leslie Jones] to play the victim on Twitter," before describing her reply to him as "Barely literate" and then calling her a "black dude."[80][81][82] Multiple media outlets have described Yiannopoulos' tweets as encouraging the abuse directed at Jones.[83][84] Yiannopoulos was then permanently banned by Twitter for what the company cited as "inciting or engaging in the targeted abuse or harassment of others".[85][86][87]

Yiannopoulos stated that he was banned because of his conservative beliefs.[88] In an interview with CNBC, he denounced the abusive tweets sent by others at Jones, and said he was not responsible for them.[89] After his suspension from Twitter, the hashtag "#FreeMilo" began trending on the site by those who opposed Twitter's decision to ban him.[90] In an interview at the 2016 Republican National Convention, Yiannopoulos thanked Twitter for banning him because he believed it made him more famous.[91]

No Platform ban

In 2017 he was prevented from speaking at certain universities and colleges in the United Kingdom by the No Platform policy of the National Union of Students, which is intended to "protect" campuses from "individuals or members of organisations or groups identified by the Democratic Procedures Committee as holding racist or fascist views."[92][93][94]

Alleged support for paedophilia

In February 2017, it was announced that Yiannopoulos would address the Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC). A conservative website, Reagan Battalion, then posted video of 2015 and 2016 clips of YouTube interviews[95][96][97] at the request of a 16-year-old Canadian student who was opposed to Yiannopoulos' CPAC address.[98]

In the interview in a January 2016 episode of the podcast Drunken Peasants,[99] Yiannopoulos stated that sexual relationships between 13-year-old boys and adult men and women can be "perfectly consensual,"[not in citation given] because some 13-year-olds are, in his view, sexually and emotionally mature enough to consent to sex with adults; he spoke favourably both of gay 13-year-old boys having sex with adult men and straight 13-year-old boys having sex with adult women.[100][101] He used his own experience as an example, saying he was mature enough to be capable of giving consent at a young age.[96] He also stated that "paedophilia is not a sexual attraction to somebody 13 years old, who is sexually mature" but rather that "paedophilia is attraction to children who have not reached puberty."[100][101]

Later in the interview, after his previous comments received some pushback from the hosts, he stated: "I think the [age of consent] law is probably about right, that 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."[100] Yiannopoulos would go on to cite his statement, that the age of consent is "probably right," when he was subsequently accused of having supported paedophilia.

Following the release of this interview, media personalities and organisations across the political spectrum accused Yiannopoulos of being a supporter of, or, apologist for, paedophilia. After being labelled a supporter of paedophilia, Yiannopoulos lost his job, a book deal, and a speaking engagement in CPAC. He subsequently held a press conference to defend himself. In the press conference, Yiannopoulos said he had been the victim of child abuse, and that his comments were a way to cope with it. He declined to identify his abusers or discuss the incidents in any detail. He characterised his comments as the "usual blend of British sarcasm, provocation and gallows humour" and denied endorsing child molestation. He also alleged the video has been edited to give a misleading impression.[102][103] Yiannopoulos stated that: "I will not apologize for dealing with my life experiences in the best way that I can, which is humour. No one can tell me or anyone else who has lived through sexual abuse how to deal with those emotions. But I am sorry to other abuse victims if my own personal way of dealing with what happened to me has hurt you."[104]

Media personalities across the political spectrum condemned Yiannopoulos's original comments, and interpreted them as an endorsement of paedophilia;[105] CPAC withdrew Yiannopoulos's invitation to speak at their annual event because he had "condoned pedophilia" through his comments,[106] stating that his apology was inadequate.[103] Editorials in conservative media, including National Review,[107] The Blaze,[108] Townhall,[109] and The American Conservative[110] have characterised his comments as supportive of paedophilia or pederasty. Commentators such as Matthew Rozsa of Salon.com and Margaret Hartmann of New York magazine criticised Yiannopoulos for condoning sex between adults and 13-year-olds, but wrote that Yiannopoulos is technically correct in distinguishing between paedophilia, hebephilia, and ephebophilia,[111][112] which are defined in the academic literature in line with the Tanner stages.[113][114] They also noted, however, that the term paedophilia is colloquially used to describe and denounce relationships of the sort promoted by Yiannopoulos.[111][112] The colloquial usage of paedophile as interchangeable with child molester is also acknowledged by academics.[115]

In response to the controversy, Simon & Schuster cancelled its plans to publish his autobiography in June 2017.[116] Media outlets reported on 20 February that Breitbart was considering terminating Yiannopoulos' contract as a result of the controversy.[117][118][119] Yiannopoulos resigned from Breitbart on 21 February, reportedly under pressure to do so.[120][121]

Throughout the controversy, Yiannopoulos was also criticised for (in his words) attending a "Hollywood party"[not in citation given] in which "very young boys"[not in citation given] were sexually abused, but failing to report the abusers to the authorities or to identify them during an appearance on The Joe Rogan Experience.[122]

On 10 March, an additional video emerged in which Yiannopoulos said that child sexual abuse is "really is not that big of a deal." He mocked child sexual-abuse victims by calling them "whinging selfish brats" for "suddenly" remembering they were abused, and "suddenly" deciding it was a problem, 20 years after the abuse occurred.[123]

Media coverage

Yiannopoulos was twice featured in Wired UK's yearly top 100 most influential people in Britain's digital economy: at 84 in 2011[124] and at 98 in 2012.[16][125] In 2012, he was called the "pit bull of tech media" by Ben Dowell of The Observer.[126]

Yiannopoulos has appeared twice on Rogan's podcast, The Joe Rogan Experience.[127][128]

Charity work

Yiannopoulos hosted the Young Rewired State competition in 2010, an initiative to showcase the technological talents of 15–18-year-olds.[129] He organised The London Nude Tech Calendar, a calendar featuring members of the London technology scene to raise money for Take Heart India.[130]

Political views

Yiannopoulos is a supporter of Donald Trump. He has been compared to Ann Coulter and referred to as the "face of a political movement," but he says his real concern is "pop culture and free speech." As he states: "I don’t care about politics, I only talk about politics because of Trump."[11] However, following Trump's decision to attack a Syrian air base in April 2017, Yiannopoulos distanced himself from the President, stating that the missile strike was "the opposite of why people voted for him.” This sentiment was shared by a sizeable part of Trump's online supporters including Ann Coulter and Mike Cernovich, who was the first to report on the impending attack.[131][132]

Relationship with the alt-right

Milo is commonly associated with the political alt-right.[5][92][102] In an interview to Channel 4 Milo talked about his relationship with the movement - "We're fellow travellers on some issues. But I’m very pro-Iraq, I’m very pro-Israel. There are all sorts of points of difference, I think".[6]

In a Breitbart article, Yiannopoulos and a co-author described the alt-right movement as "dangerously bright." Tablet noted that many of these intellectual backers write for publications Tablet describes as racist and antisemitic, like VDARE and American Renaissance.[18] The article was criticised by opponents of the right-wing for excusing the extremist elements of the alt-right, and also by neo-Nazi website The Daily Stormer who claim that racism and antisemitism are pillars of the movement.[133][134] As Yiannopoulos has said:

Trust me, alt-right hardliners don’t like me any more than they like the Republican establishment or Hillary: I’m a degenerate, race-mixing gay Jew, and they don’t let me forget it![94]

A Daily Beast article in September 2016 suggested that Yiannopoulos has received funding from virtual reality tycoon Palmer Luckey.[135]

Visa status

Yiannopoulos has said he resides in the US as an alien on O-1 visa status.[136] This is an immigration status for people with an "extraordinary ability in the sciences, education, business, or athletics" and requires individuals to be sponsored by an employer or an agent.

Personal life

Yiannopoulos has stated that, at the moment he "chose to be gay", he smuggled a "black drug dealer into (his) bedroom." He further explained this act was "the endpoint in a process of rebellion against my white middle-class parents. I'd previously lost my virginity in a fivesome with two boys and two girls. But that didn't sufficiently scandalise my mother, so I decided to up my game."[137]

Yiannopoulos compares himself to the "bratty young white girls" in America who are known as "coalburners" for rebelling against their parents by sleeping with African-Americans.[137] His father married a Jamaican, which he claims is "where I get my coal burning from."[11] Yiannopoulos has a black boyfriend,[138] and claims to "like black guys for my love life, straight white males as employees, and girls as drinking buddies."[11]

As he joked to The New York Times, "I call myself a Trump-sexual. I have a very antiwhite bedroom policy, but Trump is kind of like the exception to that rule."[139]

Dangerous Faggot Tour

In late 2015, Yiannopoulos began a campus speaking tour called "The Dangerous Faggot Tour", encompassing universities in the United States and Great Britain. A number of his scheduled speeches in Great Britain were cancelled.[140] Although most of his American speeches were not cancelled, some were met with notable protest ranging from vocal disruptions to violent demonstrations. The journalist Audrey Goddard analysed his speech at the University of Pittsburgh, concluding that Yiannopoulos spends the "majority of the time voicing his opinions with little to no factual statements accompanying them", which Goddard determined was ironic taking in account how Yiannopoulos repeatedly insisted "that he was just stating 'facts'."[141]

Rutgers University

On 9 February 2016, Yiannopoulos spoke at Rutgers University. At the start of his speech, female protesters suddenly stood up among the crowd and began smearing red paint on their faces before chanting "Black Lives Matter." The mostly pro-Yiannopoulos crowd responded by chanting "Trump" over and over again until the protesters left, allowing Yiannopoulos to continue his speech.[142]

University of Minnesota

On 17 February 2016, a student-run conservative magazine at the University of Minnesota hosted Yiannopolous and Christina Hoff Sommers, and the event was also met by protesters. Roughly 40 protesters outside repeatedly chanted "Yiannopoulos, out of Minneapolis," while about five protesters made it inside the event, shouting and sounding noisemakers, before being escorted out by security.[143] In response to these protests, members of the university faculty began pushing for more robust free speech protections at Minnesota.[144]

DePaul University

On 24 May 2016 Yiannopoulos's speech at DePaul University was interrupted after about 15 minutes by two protesters who rushed the stage: DePaul alumnus and pastor Edward Ward, and student Kayla Johnson.[145][146] The crowd overwhelmingly began booing the protesters, at one point chanting "Get a job." The campus security team that university administrators required the College Republicans to hire the day before (at an extra cost of $1,000, part of which was paid by Yiannopoulos himself), did not make an effort to remove the protesters.[147][148] This was in addition to further protests outside the event venue both before and after the event, which featured students reacting violently to Yiannopoulos's supporters.[149]

In the aftermath of the incident, university president Dennis H. Holtschneider issued a statement reaffirming the value of free speech and apologising for the harm caused by Yiannopolous's appearance on the campus. Attendees of the talk, organised by DePaul's College Republican's Chapter, criticised university police and event security for not removing the protesters.[150][151] Yiannopoulos later stated that he and the College Republicans wanted a refund of the money that was paid to the security team that ultimately did nothing.[152][153][154] The university later agreed to reimburse the College Republicans for the costs of event security.[155] Within three days, the university's ratings on Facebook became overwhelmingly dominated by 1-star reviews. This ultimately accumulated over 16,000 1-star reviews that brought the university's average to 1.1, before the page's rating system was closed indefinitely.[156]

Opposed by Young Americans for Liberty

In May 2016 Young Americans for Liberty (YAL) staffer told YAL chapter leaders that Yiannopoulos' endorsement of Republican presidential candidate at YAL events was creating “confusion” over the non-profit's message. The memo was widely interpreted by chapters as an official ban of Yiannopoulos at YAL events, though YAL quickly disavowed the staffer's comment and promised to "not ban any speaker."[157]

UCLA

Yiannopoulos spoke at the University of California, Los Angeles on 31 May 2016 where the event featured an interview-style presentation alongside Dave Rubin of The Rubin Report. Prior to the start of the event, protesters formed human chains to block the front door to the theatre where the event was scheduled to take place. In response, those who wanted to attend the event were forced to sneak in through the back door, although the protesters also found out about that entrance and attempted to block it as well, subsequently leading to several attendees shoving their way through the crowd to get in. The Los Angeles Police Department officers on duty then had to prevent protesters from entering while letting attendees pass through, thus delaying the event for about an hour until the room could fill to capacity. Twice during the speech, Yiannopoulos was interrupted by a female protester who shouted "You're spreading hate," and was subsequently booed by the audience; despite seeming to leave after the first outburst, she returned to heckle him again before finally being escorted out of the venue.[158] The next day, it was revealed that the LAPD had come in as the event was ending and told all those still in the theatre that they had to be evacuated due to a bomb threat.

Michigan State University

On 7 December 2016 at Michigan State University, Yiannopoulos and his crew posed as protesters dressed in black with ski masks or scarfs covering their faces and carrying signs prior to his "Reclaiming Constantinople" show. While carrying a sign "MILO SUCKS", he unveiled to "cheers and jeers" and left the protest under police protection unharmed. Seven protesters were arrested prior to the event and the meeting occurred as planned.[159][160]

University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee

Yiannopoulos spoke at the University of Wisconsin, Milwaukee on 13 December 2016, hosted by Turning Point USA. President-elect Donald Trump appeared nearby the same day. In his talk, Yiannopoulos mocked a transgender student who had protested a UWM locker room policy.[161][162] More than 300 students and faculty had signed a letter of protest delivered to Mark Mone's office the week before the event. In response, Mone's office issued a statement noting that "UWM does not endorse Yiannopoulos' views" and "no tuition or segregated fee funds are being used to support the event."[163]

UC Davis

On 13 January 2017, Yiannopoulos' event (which was also going to feature entrepreneur Martin Shkreli) at the University of California, Davis was cancelled after protests.[164] Yiannopoulos said that the event was cancelled due to violence, but this was disputed by the police, who said that there was no evidence of violence or property destruction.[165] One person was arrested for resisting arrest.[166]

University of Washington

On 20 January 2017, Yiannopoulos spoke at the University of Washington. The event sparked large protests outside the event, adding to the violent protests at which brick and fireworks were thrown by demonstrators protesting the inauguration of Donald Trump.[167] A 34-year-old man was shot while protesting the event, and was put into intensive care at a hospital in Seattle, having suffered from life-threatening injuries.[168] The man has since been declared to be in a stable condition. The as-of-yet unnamed shooter – a 29-year-old and a former student of the University of Washington – was attending the event in support of Yiannopoulos and Trump. He eventually turned himself in to the University of Washington Police, and he was later questioned and released without being charged with a crime. A witness recalled seeing someone release pepper spray in the crowd, which triggered the shooting confrontation. Through his lawyer, the shooting victim announced he plans to make a public statement at a later date.[169][168][170]

UC Berkeley

On 1 February 2017, Yiannopoulos was scheduled to make a speech at UC Berkeley at 8:00 pm. Over 1,500 people gathered to protest the event on the steps of Sproul Hall, with some violence occurring.[171] Prior to the event, more than 100 UC Berkeley faculty had signed a petition urging the university to cancel the event.[172] According to the university, around 150 masked agitators came onto campus and interrupted the protest, setting fires, damaging property, throwing fireworks, attacking members of the crowd, and throwing rocks at the police.[173] These violent protestors included members of BAMN, who threw rocks at police, shattered windows, threw Molotov cocktails, and later continued to vandalise downtown Berkeley.[174] Among those assaulted were a Syrian Muslim in a suit who was pepper sprayed and hit with a rod by a protester dressed all in black who said "You look like a Nazi",[175] and a white woman who was pepper sprayed while being interviewed by a TV reporter.[176] Citing security concerns, the UC Police Department decided to cancel the event.[171][177] One person was arrested for failure to disperse, and there was about $100,000 in damage.[178] The police were criticised for their "hands off" policy whereby they did not arrest any of the protesters who committed assault, vandalism, or arson.[179][180] President Donald Trump criticised the university on Twitter for failing to allow freedom of speech, and threatened to defund UC Berkeley.[181][182] After the incident, Yiannopoulos' upcoming book, Dangerous, returned to number one for a few days on Amazon's "Best Sellers" list.[183][184] According to Yiannopoulos' Facebook post, he plans to return to Berkeley, "hopefully within the next few months."[185]

Books

Yiannopoulos published two poetry books under the name Milo Andreas Wagner. His 2007 release Eskimo Papoose was later scrutinised for re-using lines from pop music and television without attribution, to which he replied that it was done deliberately and the work was satirical.[3]

Dangerous

An autobiography titled Dangerous was announced in December 2016. Yiannopoulos has reportedly received a $250,000 advance payment from the book's publisher, Simon & Schuster. It was intended to be published under their Threshold Editions imprint and to be issued on 14 March 2017, but Yiannopoulos pushed back the schedule to June so he could write about the demonstrations during his campus tour.[186] A day after its announcement, pre-sales for the book elevated it to first place on Amazon.com's list of best-sellers.[187]

The book announcement attracted controversy, including a statement on Twitter by The Chicago Review of Books that they would not review any Simon & Schuster books because of the book deal.[188][189] It also drew support from a number of anti-censorship groups, including English PEN.[190]

Simon & Schuster dropped publication of Dangerous on 20 February 2017. The publisher's cancellation occurred in the wake of the video and sexual-consent comments controversy that also led to CPAC withdrawing its speaking invitation and Yiannopoulos to resign from Breitbart.[104][191][104]

In a press release on 26 May 2017, Yinnopoulos announced that the book would be self-published by his publishing company, "Dangerous Books", on 4 July 2017.[192] Soon after the announcement, the book was once again the best-selling book on Amazon.[193][194][195]

References

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