Q&A Criticised For Allowing Milo Yiannopoulos Ask A Question
An already eyebrow-raising Q&A lineup on Monday night took a dramatic turn when alt-right poster boy Milo Yiannopoulos turned up.
The alt-right personality -- who has links to white nationalism -- appeared via video link to address a personal gripe with Canadian psychology professor and culture warrior Jordan Peterson.
"You talk a good game about standing up for men and for boys and you've certainly amassed a big army of them but a few of us have been wondering with your silence on Kavanaugh and the innocent Covington boys," Yiannopoulos said, referring to rape allegations against Supreme Justice Brett Kavanaugh and viral footage of students taunting a Native American man.
"Perhaps your actions aren't matching your words. Can you explain why, although you talk a good game about standing up against social justice warriors and the chaotic feminine, but when it comes down to it you always seem to either fold, stay silent or betray your allies?"
Yiannopoulos also accused Peterson of calling him "racist".
Yiannopolous's appearance on Q&A -- a panel which also included Special Minister of State Alex Hawke, Labor frontbencher Terri Butler, former Australian Defence Force member and trans advocate Cate McGregor, and writer Van Badham -- came as a surprise to audience members.
READ MORE: Why 'Q&A' Is A Complete Waste Of Time
Video questions are common but usually reserved for Australians who cannot travel to the live taping.
Peterson responded by apologising for calling Yiannopoulos a racist, but said he didn't believe the rest of his accusations were warranted.
"First of all, I don't believe I'm obliged to comment on absolutely everything that happens in everywhere in the world," he said.
"I did, by the way, invite you to talk about a year and a half ago when things first started to collapse around you, and we never did get around to that, and I don't believe that was entirely my fault."
Peterson rose to global prominence in 2016 when he refused to use gender-neutral pronouns after Canada passed legislation prohibiting discrimination based on gender identity or expression.
Over that same time, Yiannopoulos has struggled to hold on to the influence he held prior to early 2017. Once one of the most prominent alt-right voices, his line of access to major conservative platforms was severed when he appeared to endorse paedophilia. He is now reportedly more than $2 million in debt.
Yiannopoulos appearance on Q&A is the latest in a long line of alt-right, far right or white nationalist figures, cast off by the United States, Canada or the UK, peddling their message to Australian viewers instead.
That number includes Proud Boys founder Gavin McInnes (whose Australian visa was denied), right-wing YouTuber Lauren Southern, and former Donald Trump adviser and Breitbart editor Steve Bannon, who was interviewed by 4 Corner's Sarah Ferguson.
"Why would the ABC think it needs to provide a platform for internecine conflict in the grifter community?" The Guardian's Jason Wilson, who writes extensively on the subject, asked on Twitter.
"Milo Yiannopoulos can't even get arrested anywhere else in the world. Patreon won't host him. His last refuge is the Australian Broadcasting Corporation."
Plenty of others also criticised the ABC for giving Yiannopoulos a platform.