Jeremy Scahill refuses to appear on 'Real Time with Bill Maher' alongside Milo Yiannopoulos

Jeremy Scahill refuses to appear on 'Real Time with Bill Maher' alongside Milo Yiannopoulos
Journalist Jeremy Scahill, co-writer and cast member of the Oscar-nominated documentary film "Dirty Wars," poses at a reception featuring the Oscar nominees in the Documentary Feature and Documentary Short Subject categories on Wednesday, Feb. 26, 2014, in
Source: Chris Pizzello/AP
Journalist Jeremy Scahill, co-writer and cast member of the Oscar-nominated documentary film "Dirty Wars," poses at a reception featuring the Oscar nominees in the Documentary Feature and Documentary Short Subject categories on Wednesday, Feb. 26, 2014, in
Source: Chris Pizzello/AP

Journalist Jeremy Scahill has backed out of an upcoming appearance on Friday's edition of Real Time with Bill Maher, citing Maher's decision to welcome far-right provocateur and Breitbart personality Milo Yiannopoulos onto his show.

In a statement on Twitter, Scahill wrote he had respect for Maher and had tolerated the host's views on Islam, which have at times seen Maher described as an Islamophobe, because Maher lets guests challenge him on the program. But he added "Milo Yiannopoulos is many bridges too far."

"He has ample venues to spew his hateful diatribes," Scahill wrote. "There is no value in 'debating' him. Appearing on Real Time will provide Yiannopoulos with a large, important platform to openly advocate his racist, anti-immigrant campaign. It will be exploited by Yiannopoulos in an attempt to legitimize his hateful agenda."

Scahill referred to Yiannopoulos' history of attacks on and spearheading harassment campaigns against "immigrants, transgender people and others," concluding "I cannot participate in an event that will give a platform to such a person."

Scahill, as well as representatives for scheduled co-panelists Larry Wilmore and former Rep. Jack Kingston, did not return a request for comment by Mic.

Yiannopoulos made his career as one of the most outspoken personalities at Breitbart, the right-wing website formerly ran by fellow alt-righter and President Donald Trump's chief strategist Steve Bannon, where he became known for mixing conservative diatribes with garish trolling. He earned a permanent ban from social networking site Twitter in 2016 for organizing a racist harassment campaign against black Ghostbusters star Leslie Jones, and defended himself by saying he "[delights] in offending people."

His recent speaking tour around the country ran into increasing resistance from campus activists and anti-fascist organizers, and his last planned stops were eventually cancelled after protesters gathered en masse.

How likely are you to make Mic your go-to news source?

Tom McKay

Tom is a staff writer at Mic, covering national politics, media, policing and the war on drugs. He is based in New York and can be reached at tmckay@mic.com.

MORE FROM

Bill Cosby to appear in court for alleged 1974 assault of 15-year-old girl

Cosby will appear in court on July 30, 2018 for allegedly forcing a teen girl to perform oral sex on him over 40 years ago.

Nearly 850 backlogged rape kits were found infested with mold in Texas

The mold-infested rape kits don't appear to have contaminated the DNA samples inside, according to authorities.

Season 11 of 'The X-Files' will be written entirely by men

Only six women have ever written for the beloved sci-fi show, which boasts over 200 episodes and spawned two feature-length films.

Does nursing require a "woman’s touch"? These male nurses say no.

Christian Martin and Dan Douglas are two men working as nurses — and it's mostly NBD.

The GOP health care bill's one-year ban on Planned Parenthood is a bigger problem than you think

Compared to the millions who will lose coverage, restricting federal funds for just 365 days doesn't seem that bad. But it is.

There's a new effort to recall Judge Aaron Perksy, who sentenced Brock Turner

If voters in Persky's county collect enough signatures, the judge could be on the chopping block in 2018.

Bill Cosby to appear in court for alleged 1974 assault of 15-year-old girl

Cosby will appear in court on July 30, 2018 for allegedly forcing a teen girl to perform oral sex on him over 40 years ago.

Nearly 850 backlogged rape kits were found infested with mold in Texas

The mold-infested rape kits don't appear to have contaminated the DNA samples inside, according to authorities.

Season 11 of 'The X-Files' will be written entirely by men

Only six women have ever written for the beloved sci-fi show, which boasts over 200 episodes and spawned two feature-length films.

Does nursing require a "woman’s touch"? These male nurses say no.

Christian Martin and Dan Douglas are two men working as nurses — and it's mostly NBD.

The GOP health care bill's one-year ban on Planned Parenthood is a bigger problem than you think

Compared to the millions who will lose coverage, restricting federal funds for just 365 days doesn't seem that bad. But it is.

There's a new effort to recall Judge Aaron Perksy, who sentenced Brock Turner

If voters in Persky's county collect enough signatures, the judge could be on the chopping block in 2018.