The Washington D.C. Metro has taken down advertisements for an alt-right provocateur's new book after receiving numerous complaints from riders.
Ads for Milo Yiannopoulos' book "Dangerous" went up in Metro stations within the last few days. The ads featured his photo with the words "The Most Hated Man On The Internet," or "The Kanye West Of Journalism."
Yiannopoulos was an editor at Breitbart News before he resigned in February over comments he made suggesting he condoned sex with boys as young as 13. He is also known for getting banned from Twitter after helping to lead an online harassment campaign against comedian and "SNL" star Leslie Jones.
The Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority responded to multiple tweets on Friday calling for the ads to be taken down. Metro said it has removed the ads from all stations because they "violate" the Metro's guidelines for advertising.
Metro said the ad violated the following guidelines:
- "Advertisements intended to influence members of the public regarding an issue on which there are varying opinions are prohibited"
- "Advertisements that are intended to influence public policy are prohibited"
"Is my face a hate crime? We didn't have anything to say about issues or policy, unless you consider my face to be a political statement," Yiannopoulos said in a statement to News4. "So I have a simple question for the D.C. Metro. What advertisement could we have posted that *did not* break those policies?"
Protesters crowded Sixth Avenue in Manhattan Friday morning for a free-speech rally in support of Yiannopoulos. He said he is planning an "unavoidable" comeback.
"We believe that the removal of our billboards constitutes unconstitutional viewpoint discrimination by a government regulator in violation of the First Amendment and are preparing our response now," a spokesperson for Milo, Inc. said in a statement.
In 2015, an anti-Muslim group sued Metro after the agency refused to post ads showing the Prophet Muhammed, saying Metro violated the group's First Amendment rights.