Known for being about as far-right and outspoken as it gets, there’s plenty of controversy surrounding Milo Yiannopoulos.
Called a media troll, the British political writer and commentator was permanently banned from Twitter in 2016 for harassment in the form of racist abuse at comedian Leslie Jones, and later banned from Facebook in 2019.
He’s also known by his pen name Milo Andreas Wagner and was famously a former editor at Breitbart News.
The American media outlet got its start in 2007, and has come under scrutiny of its own over the years for its opinion pieces and beyond. Its founder, Andrew Breitbart, reportedly started the outlet as “the Huffington Post of the right.”
Milo seemed to fit right in and it’s his work there that put him on the map (for better or worse).
Milo became famous over the Gamergate controversy.
Aside from his own opinions and conservative presence, Milo gained popularity over his involvement in the Gamergate controversy.
Gamergate was a 2014 video game culture harassment campaign using #GamerGate. The Washington Post calls it a “freewheeling catastrophe / social movement / misdirected lynch mob” and an internet culture war.
“On one side are independent game-makers and critics, many of them women, who advocate for greater inclusion in gaming,” the outlet explains.
“On the other side of the equation are a motley alliance of vitriolic naysayers: misogynists, anti-feminists, trolls, people convinced they’re being manipulated by a left-leaning and / or corrupt press, and traditionalists who just don’t want their games to change.”
Gamergate picked up steam when Breitbart — and more specifically, Milo — covered it with a headline that read, “Feminist Bullies Tearing the Video Game Industry Apart.”
The article included claims of greed, lying, cheating, and hysteria, and Milo and the controversy gained some serious traction.
It was about the gaming community, but also more than that. The “online hate-storm presaged the tactics of the Trump-loving far right movement,” The Guardian claims.
Then he became tangled in a controversy of his own.
Just when Milo seemed to be at the top of his game, he made comments on a very sensitive subject that led to his downfall.
He was no stranger to commenting on sensitive subjects, but this time, it was pedophilia — and his fanbase, friends, and partners didn’t stand for it.
Audio and footage were released where Milo “appears to defend sexual relationships between adults and ‘younger boys’ in their teens,” and discusses a sexual relationship he had with a priest when he was a teen, calling it “perfectly consensual.”
It didn’t take long for his invitation to speak at the Conservative Political Action Conference was rescinded. He also lost his Simon & Schuster book deal, and resigned from Breitbart.