You hate him. You love him. One thing is for sure: You have an opinion about him. Since gaining notoriety for his coverage of “Gamergate” in 2014, Milo Yiannopoulos has been a polarizing figure. But what is it that makes his views so refreshing to some and so repulsive to others?
Who Is he?
This openly-gay writer and entrepreneur, hailing from southern England, is nothing if not opinionated. Despite his homosexuality, he maintains that gay men should “get back in the closet” and find female partners with whom to form nuclear families. With Jewish heritage from his mother’s side, he’s made controversial claims about Jews running all the banks and the media. He loves Donald Trump. He’s disgusted by third-wave feminism. If liberals embrace it, chances are he’s already written about why he thinks it’s bullshit. His articles are shared on social media with passionate agreement and disgusted disbelief. All he has to do is state his opinion.
The Cambridge college dropout got his start in tech journalism in 2009 at The Daily Telegraph. After founding tech tabloid *The Kernel* in 2011, with aims to “fix European technology journalism,” Yiannopoulos sold the site to Daily Dot Media in 2014. This was following a shutdown of the online magazine in March 2013, amid allegations from contributors that they were never paid for their work. After the acquisition by Daily Dot Media, Yiannopoulos stepped down as editor-in-chief of the publication.
The “Gamergate” Scandal
Later that same year, he went on to cover the gaming industry scandal dubbed by the media as “Gamergate,” an incident that began with allegations of sexual favors and favoritism between gaming journalists and a female game developer. While many gamers were outraged, feminist critics struck back with assertions that the gaming industry had never been safe for women. Yiannopoulos took the side of the enraged gamers, stating that “feminist bullies [were] tearing the gaming industry apart.” To expose what he saw as corruption of journalistic integrity, he published leaked e-mails from a mailing list for gaming industry journalists, alleging that they were colluding to pick and choose which side of the scandal to cover. In 2015, two events that Yiannopoulos was involved in (one being for supporters of Gamergate) were targeted by bomb threats. Yiannopoulos claimed that he himself received threatening mail, including a syringe containing an unknown liquid, and a dead animal. In late 2014 he stated that he intended to write a book about Gamergate, though said book has yet to appear.
Breitbart to Now
After spending some time as a contributor, in October 2015 Yiannopoulos was appointed head of the tech news section for Breitbart, making him one of only a handful of full-time staff writers there. His pro-Trump, anti-immigration, anti-Islam and anti-feminism stances — positions that he’s never been shy about expressing — made him a logical choice for the notoriously conservative news outlet.
In late 2015 and into 2016, Yiannopoulos gained attention on Twitter for inflammatory tweets that resulted in having his account suspended multiple times. One instance involved changing his credentials to say that he was the “social justice editor” for Buzzfeed. In a later incident, he was banned from the micro-blogging site for criticism of Islam following the Pulse nightclub shooting in Orlando. Due to backlash and claims that Twitter was deliberately censoring conservatives, his account was restored after only a short time. The last straw came in July 2016 when Yiannopoulos published tweets criticizing the female cast of the Ghostbusters reboot, particularly black actress Leslie Jones. Following this incident, Twitter permanently banned his account, a move which Yiannopoulos claimed was part of a larger agenda to silence conservatives. Despite this, he later thanked Twitter for the ban, saying that it only made him more famous.
His controversial behavior only continues to shock. With his speaking tour, provocatively titled the “Dangerous Faggot Tour,” drawing to a close in early 2017 — after many protests and cancelled dates — some wonder where Yiannopoulos will go after this. He’s certainly not going away. His autobiography, titled “Dangerous,” is scheduled to be released in March 2017. And with Donald Trump fresh in the White House, and millions of liberal Americans searching for ways to fight back, we’re sure that Yiannopoulos will have a thing or two to say.
It doesn’t matter if you view him as your hero or your worst enemy. Figures like Yiannopoulos thrive off that sort of controvery. All that matters is that you know his name.