CPAC cancels Milo Yiannopoulos' keynote address after controversy over comments about sex with minors

Conservatives have found the line at which they'd no longer support the Breitbart editor

By Matthew Rozsa

Staff Writer

Published February 20, 2017 6:52PM (EST)

It seems that controversial Breitbart columnist Milo Yiannopoulos has finally crossed a line that conservatives find unacceptable.

The official statement came from Matt Schlaap, chairman of the American Conservative Union, in response to the revelation that Yiannopoulos made comments that seemed to condone allowing adults to have sex with minors.

"Due to the revelation of an offensive video in the past 24 hours condoning pedophilia, the American Conservative Union has decided to rescind the invitation of Milo Yiannopoulos to speak at the Conservative Political Action Conference," Sclaap wrote. After acknowledging that Yiannopoulos wrote a Facebook post defending himself, which Schlaap deemed "insufficient," he urged Yiannopoulos to "further address these disturbing comments."

Schlaap closed by saying, "We continue to believe that CPAC is a constructive forum for controversies and disagreements among conservatives, however there is no disagreement among our attendees on the evils of sexual abuse of children."

Yiannopoulos a response on Facebook, saying that he has "utter disgust at adults who sexually abuse minors" and claimed to have outed three child abusers as a journalist.

"I'm partly to blame," Yiannopoulos claimed. "My own experiences as a victim led me to believe I could say anything I wanted to on this subject, no matter how outrageous. But I understand that my usual blend of British sarcasm, provocation and gallows humor might have come across as flippancy, a lack of care for other victims or, worse, 'advocacy.' I deeply regret that. People deal with things from their past in different ways."

He also insisted, "I've reviewed the tapes that appeared last night in their proper full context and I don't believe they say what is being reported." He reiterated that he "shouldn't have used the word 'boy' — which gay men often do to describe young men of consenting age — instead of 'young man.' That was an error."

While pleading guilty to "imprecise language," however, Yiannopoulos insisted that he did not condone pedophilia and was "implacably opposed" to normalizing it.

By Matthew Rozsa

Matthew Rozsa is a staff writer at Salon. He received a Master's Degree in History from Rutgers-Newark in 2012 and was awarded a science journalism fellowship from the Metcalf Institute in 2022.

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Conservative Political Action Committee Milo Yiannopoulos