Patreon removed a crowdfunding campaign created by the controversial former Breitbart News editor this week, joining Twitter on the list of online services to consider Mr. Yiannopoulos persona non grata.
In an email shared by Mr. Yiannopoulos on social media, a Patreon representative said the campaign was removed specifically because of his ties to the Proud Boys, a “pro-Western fraternal organization” that critics have labeled a far-right mob with links to white nationalists.
“Your past association with the Proud Boys, though recently disavowed, is a breach of our guidelines,” a Patreon spokesperson wrote in the email.
“Well, that’s that,” reacted Mr. Yiannopoulos. “Back to square one, I guess!”
Representatives for the Proud Boys did not immediately return a message seeking comment.
Mr. Yiannopoulos, 34, launched the crowdfunding campaign on the heels of The Guardian reporting Tuesday that he was more than $2 million in debt during 2018.
“I’ve had a miserable year or two, banned and de-platformed and censored and blacklisted … and now I need your help. I want to get back on my feet and come roaring back in 2019,” Mr. Yiannopoulos wrote on his Patreon page.
“After two years of relentless, dishonest attacks on me by the press, I got roughed up and lost my way. I’ve never asked for money like this before. But I need you to help me get back to work. Thanks for considering it, and God bless,” he added.
Launched in 2013, Patreon lets users create crowdfunding campaigns in which contributors are rewarded with certain perks depending on how much they pledge. Prior to being removed from Patreon, the fundraiser created by Mr. Yiannopoulos promised to reward donors with perks ranging from merchandise discounts and autographed posters, to handwritten thank you notes and “exclusive invitations” to private events.
Donors who pledged at least $750 a month were to be rewarded with perks including an annual dinner with Mr. Yiannopoulos, according to the campaign.
Mr. Yiannopoulos parted ways with Breitbart News in early 2017 after coming under fire for his past comments about pedophilia. Simon & Schuster aborted plans to publish his autobiography amid the controversy, and the Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) similarly canceled his appearance at least year’s annual event.
More recently, Mr. Yiannopoulos wrote in a blog post last month that he was “publicly dissociating” himself from the Proud Boys, a controversial group of so-called “western chauvinists,” amid its members facing scrutiny from law enforcement in the U.S. and abroad.
He was previously banned permanently from Twitter in 2016 for repeated harassment.
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