There is no question that Milo Yiannopoulos is a controversial figure in the eyes of the mainstream media… at least in the Western World.

He has made headline news, as Twitter suspended his account permanently after making some questionable tweets that made fun of actress Leslie Jones.

Watch the video for the background story, and tell us whether you understand (or agree with) his point of view on social media.


Alison Kosik: You wrote a scathing review about Ghostbusters.

Milo Yiannopoulos: I thought it was quite measured, it’s just that everybody else lying that they liked the movie when nobody really did.

Alison Kosik: And then what happened?

Milo Yiannopoulos: So I exchanged some words with Leslie Jones, one of the leads who I was unimpressed with, like I was impressed with all of them. I cracked some jokes, I was mean and b****y like I always am. And if I crack a few jokes at a Hollywood megastar’s expense, so what?

Alison Kosik: So I printed out a couple of [your tweets from your Twitter account] just to [discuss them with you.]

Milo Yiannopoulos: Go right ahead. I posted them. I’m sure [I’ll be] fine.

Yeah, I said the women in it were fat and ugly, and ugly and fat. And they are, and I’ll tell you why I find this problematic. We’ve started to marginalize traditional beauty standards, you know. Now what we’re expected to do is to celebrate body positivity and that it’s okay to abuse their bodies, to run the risk of horrible diseases and awful chronic conditions and to die sooner. That’s horrible. What I’m trying to do is draw attention to a critique of what’s happening in mainstream beauty culture, and that comes from compassion with the messages were sending to young girls.

Alison Kosik: So, is that compassionate, though? Saying they’re fat, fat, ugly, ugly.

Milo Yiannopoulos: The peace comes from compassion. I mean this is just a little b****y tweet; who cares?

[Yiannopoulos’s tweets initiated a barrage of racist tweets directed at Leslie Jones]

 

Alison Kosik: Okay, so according to Jack Dorsey (the founder of Twitter), the tweets that followed after your review of Ghostbusters, it was just too much, because…

Milo Yiannopoulos: There’s no question that some of the things that were sent to her were horrible, but I’m not in the business of policing the 300 million people on Twitter. Now, I’m not going to endorse anything horrible that people said to her. Obviously there was in things that were said to her that were disgusting, all right? But I’m not in the business of language policing other people. I’m only responsible for what I say. And the things that you have presented to me […] I would say them again tomorrow.

Alison Kosik: What would you say to Leslie Jones right now if you had an opportunity to sit with her? Now that the dust has settled a little bit

Milo Yiannopoulos: I would say to her, you are a star of a Hollywood blockbuster. What are you doing sitting at home on your iPhone getting upset about idiots posting nonsense stuff on the internet? That’s insane to me.

Alison Kosik: So, there’s a bit of irony in this. I’m thinking about this 2012 op-ed that you wrote that I’m sure you [remember].

Milo Yiannopoulos: Yes, you all have the same researchers, you guys.

Alison Kosik: I mean, it stuck out… it was like a red flag. You wrote the internet distances us from others and feeds the traits of sociopathy, saying, “Perhaps what’s needed now is a bolder form of censure after all […] If people cannot be trusted to treat one another with respect, dignity and consideration.” You wrote that.

Milo Yiannopoulos: I did. I think it’s fair to say my feelings have evolved on that subject.

Alison Kosik: And how did they evolve?

Milo Yiannopoulos: Well, I think four years of being on Twitter and being on Facebook and watching how these companies operate. But also realizing that the trolls often aren’t the bad guys. Often the trolls are the only ones telling the truth.

Alison Kosik: What about an apology for maybe what your followers [did]?

Milo Yiannopoulos: Absolutely not.

Alison Kosik: Okay, well, how Twitter sees it is that you kind of […] moved that kind of momentum…

Milo Yiannopoulos: Well, I’m sorry for being popular. They need new ways of making sure that people who don’t want to hear from each other don’t really hear from each other. My purpose is to lob bombs. My purpose is to be a fire starter. Right? In outrage culture, I think the appropriate response is to be outrageous because what I want to do is smash political correctness. I don’t want everyone to be like me, but I think it’s important that there are some people like me.

[The day after racist tweets directed at Jones hit a fever pitch, Twitter permanently banned Yiannpolous from the service.]

Alison Kosik: Your tweets offended people. They just did.

Milo Yiannopoulos: (laughs) Good.

Alison Kosik: What do you say to those people? It’s the offensive comments that were made…

Milo Yiannopoulos: Yes, I say good. Good. If I offended you, that’s me performing my function, and you should grow a thicker skin and grow up. And so long as there are people who think that “offense taking”and “having grievances” is equivalent to some genuine kind of injury, I’m still necessary. You may disagree with me. That’s fine; come debate me. But so long as there is politics in this country as there is, where people can turn victimhood and grievance into currency, I will continue to be as offensive as possible.

Milo Yiannopolous discussing his Twitter antics with Alison Kosik