I haven’t wanted to even write the words “Milo Yiannopoulos” without “got punched in the face” being included in the sentence too, which is why I’ve never written about him. Milo is a Nazi, ladies and gentlemen. We can beat around the bush and call him a “far-right provocateur” (which is how Variety refers to him) or “the most fabulous supervillain on the internet,” which is how he refers to himself. But really, he’s just a run-of-the-mill Nazi. He’s been part of some celebrity-adjacent stories in the past, like when he was banned from Twitter for encouraging people to harass and degrade Leslie Jones. He hates women, he hates Muslims, he hates “political correctness” and he loves cozying up to the Alt-Right and neo-Nazis in general.
Last year, Milo got a lucrative book deal which pissed off a lot of people. Well, his book is out and he’s trying to do a book tour on college campuses and TV shows. The college tour has not gone well, and protesters pretty much come out for all of his scheduled events. So, funny story? Bill Maher invited Milo on his show. And Bill Maher being Bill Maher, the interview didn’t go well. By that I mean, Maher just let Milo spout his hate and bulls–t for eleven minutes and Maher even agreed with him several times. If you want to try to get through this video, go ahead. I could only watch it for two minutes, which is when he started degrading black people and women.
Apparently (I say because I can’t watch the entire thing), he also said Bill Maher is “the only good one,” meaning I guess the only good liberal/progressive? He also said: “The Democrats are the party of Lena Dunham. These people are mental, hideous people, and the more that America sees of Lena Dunham, the fewer votes that the Democratic Party is going to get.” When Maher brought up Leslie Jones and Milo’s harassment of her, Milo said: “I said that she looked a dude, which she does” and Maher said “right.” Milo also called Jones “barely literate” and Maher didn’t say anything. What else? Milo criticized female comedians who “used to be funny before they contracted feminism.” You can read more about what words were spoken here at Variety.
Then it got worse when Milo joined the panel discussion, which also included Larry Wilmore. Wilmore is the only reason this video is palatable in the least. While Maher gives Milo all the time in the world to spew hate speech, Wilmore goes in on Milo several times, but the best part comes around the 4-minute mark when Milo uses the code-word “low IQ” in reference to Larry Wilmore (because black peeps, amirite, Nazis?) and Wilmore tells Milo to go f–k himself. NSFW language, but if you’ve made it this far, you’ll want to watch it.
For whatever record, I believe in free speech. Nazis have the right to say whatever they want without the government throwing them in jail. But if you’re Bill Maher or any television host, why would you invite this Nazi douchebag on your show if you weren’t going to challenge him point by point? And therein lies the conundrum, as I see it. It’s the same thing with Piers Morgan saying that Ewan McGregor should have gone on his show and “debated” women’s rights. For Bill Maher to treat Milo’s ideas and words as somehow valid and legitimate makes a mockery of every one of us. Women’s rights are not a debate. LGBTQ rights are not a debate. Minority rights are not a debate. Nazis shouldn’t be given air time on premium cable to show the pearl-wearing gay face of fascism. It normalizes him and his ideas.
Screencaps courtesy of HBO.