Conservative commentator and controversial writer Milo Yiannopoulos resigned from Breitbart News on Tuesday in the wake of his comments about inappropriate adult relationships with children, according to The Washington Post. "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," Yiannopoulos said in a statement issued Tuesday afternoon.
The media outlet's editor-in-chief had renounced Yiannopoulos' comments earlier on Tuesday but not announced any updates to his employment status, according to POLITICO. Citing the Washingtonian, it also reported that some Breitbart staffers were preparing to walk off the job if the outlet did not part ways with the controversial writer. It's unclear if the upward pressure on the company's leadership influenced Yiannopoulos' decision, but his statement suggests that it may have been a factor.
The controversy that finally led to Yiannopoulos' resignation started last week when the conservative outlet The Reagan Battalion tweeted a video of Yiannopoulos' appearance on a British podcast last year. In the video, he renounces "the arbitrary and oppressive idea of consent" and says that relationships between older men and boys can be beneficial for the boy's development. "Older men help those young boys to discover who they are and give them security and safety and provide them with love and a reliable rock where they can't speak to their parents," Yiannopoulos says in the recording.
After Comments On Pedophilia, Breitbart Editor Milo Yiannopoulos Resigns https://t.co/QwqhCdevam— NPR (@NPR) February 21, 2017
With his primary outlet now gone and corporate partners pulling out of deals, the future of Yiannopoulos' personal brand is unclear. The outrage came quickly, from both sides of the aisle, after the recording was unearthed last week. Simon and Schuster publishers canceled Yiannopoulos' upcoming book, and the Conservative Political Action Conference removed him from its list of speakers for the convention, which starts Wednesday. Some supporters are using the hashtag #FreeMilo to defend him, but the majority seems to be joining the movement to block his public influence.
Yiannopoulos' downfall may also be connected to the turning tide against conservatives in the U.S. Since Donald Trump's inauguration, the resistance to hate speech and discriminatory conservatism, which tends to be Yiannopoulos' bread and butter, has increased significantly. However, this situation is also a rare example of a bipartisan reaction. Although Trump himself made controversial sexual statements in the past, right-wing conservatives seem to have finally found a line that can't be crossed, even by one of its own prominent voices.