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.