The Conservative Political Action Conference cancelled a scheduled keynote speech by Milo Yiannopoulos after video emerged where the alt-right provocateur seems to defend pedophilia.
“We realize that Mr. Yiannopoulos has responded on Facebook, but it is insufficient,” American Conservative Union Chairman Matt Schlapp said in a statement Monday afternoon. “It is up to him to answer the tough questions, and we urge him to immediately further address these disturbing comments.”
In the online video that surfaced recently, Yiannopoulos spoke approvingly of “relationships between younger boys and older men.” He also joked about how he could perform oral sex better because of clerical sexual abuse.
In a statement on his Facebook page, Yiannopoulos denied supporting pedophilia, calling it “a vile and disgusting crime, perhaps the very worst.” He denounced the videos as “selectively edited,” while also saying he shouldn’t have used the word “boy” to refer to a young but of-age man. As for his comments on clerical sexual abuse, Yiannopoulos said it was his prerogative “to deal in an edgy way on an internet livestream with a crime [where] I was the victim.”
Even before news of the video broke, CPAC’s decision to give a top speaking slot to Yiannopoulos had upset some of its board members, the Washingtonian’s Elaina Plott reported over the weekend.