Yiannopoulos resigns from Breitbart

Alt-right provocateur Milo Yiannopoulos on Tuesday resigned from Breitbart News after a video surfaced where he appeared to defend pedophilia, sparking outcry among liberals and conservatives alike.

“Breitbart News has stood by me when others caved,” Yiannopoulos, a Breitbart senior editor, said in a statement.

“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," he added.

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"Milo Yiannopoulos’s bold voice has sparked much-needed debate on important cultural topics confronting universities, the LGBTQ community, the press, and the tech industry,” Breitbart said in a statement after Yiannopoulos’s announcement. "Milo notified us this morning of his decision to resign as editor of Breitbart Tech and we accepted his resignation.”

At a press conference, Yiannopoulos announced plans to start his own independent media company, which he said will focus more on “entertainment and education,” rather than journalism.

“I will be announcing a new, independently-funded media venture of my own and a live tour in the coming weeks,” he said.

“I don’t intend to go head-to-head with Breitbart, but I intend to do more of the same, just not under the Breitbart banner.”

The Conservative Political Action Conference’s (CPAC) decision to invite Yiannopoulos to speak this year drew outcry. In the aftermath, a video posted on Youtube in January 2016 re-emerged over the weekend showing Yiannopoulos saying a relationship between an adult man and teenage boy could be beneficial. He also discussed his own sexual abuse as a teenager.

The fallout from the video reverberated throughout the political world and social media over the holiday weekend and earned swift condemnation from both sides of the aisle.

CPAC on Monday rescinded his invitation to speak at the annual conservative conference. American Conservative Union Chairman Matt Schlapp called his comments “disturbing.”

Also Monday, Simon & Schuster canceled a deal to publish Yiannopoulos’s upcoming book, “Dangerous.”

“I would like to restate my disgust at adults who sexually abuse minors,” Yiannopoulos said at his press conference. “I am horrified by pedophilia and I have devoted large portions of my career as a journalist to exposing child abusers.”

“I haven't ever apologized before and I don't anticipate doing it again. This is a cynical media witchhunt that doesn’t care about children. They care about destroying me and my allies.”

On Tuesday, Yiannopoulos said he’s received interest from other publishers and said he still intends to have his book come out this year, “perhaps with another chapter.”

Ahead of Yiannopoulos’s resignation, Breitbart Editor-in-Chief Alex Marlow criticized the senior editor, calling his comments “not defensible.”

Breitbart employees reportedly threatened an exodus of “at least a half-dozen” employees if the site didn’t fire Yiannopoulos.

Yiannopoulos has become a magnet for controversy in recent days. Earlier this month, he had a scheduled speech at the University of California, Berkeley, which drew national attention after protests erupted opposing his appearance and later turned violent.

— Updated at 3:44 p.m.