The far-right troll Milo Yiannopoulos has had his registration to a massive convention of “furries” rescinded, event organizers told TPM Monday.
The decision followed weeks of pressure on the organizers of “Midwest FurFest.” The annual convention hosts thousands of furries — enthusiasts who dress up in costumes and adopt animal personas — each year outside Chicago. Yiannopoulos announced last month that he’d registered for the event. On Sunday, FurFest said it was “investigating all concerns being relayed to us.”
We have received a number of mentions and support tickets today – we assure all attendees that your safety is of the utmost importance and is not being ignored. We are investigating all concerns being relayed to us.
— Midwest FurFest 🌻 (@FurFest) September 15, 2019
“Hate is not welcome at Midwest FurFest,” Matt Berger, an organizer for the massive furry-centric event, said in a statement. “Midwest FurFest can confirm that Mr. Yiannopoulos has registered for the event this year. While the convention generally does not comment on anyone’s registration status, Mr. Yiannopoulos has already stated as much publicly.”
“The board of Midwest Furry Fandom, consistent with our posted code of conduct, has rescinded Mr. Yiannopoulos’s registration,” the statement continued. “He is not welcome to attend this or any future Midwest FurFest event.”
Yiannopoulos’ ties to white nationalists were exposed by BuzzFeed News in 2017. Earlier that year, comments surfaced in which the troll appeared to condone pedophelia. Those made him persona non grata, even among some far-right circles.
On the messaging platform Telegram Monday — Yiannopoulos has been banned by more mainstream social media — the entertainer showed that he had received a $300 refund from the event.
In a subsequent statement posted online, the convention said Yiannopoulos’ attendance could “lead to an inability to provide a safe and welcoming experience for convention participants.”
Self-registration for our event does not imply a given individual’s presence is condoned or appropriate.
— Midwest FurFest 🌻 (@FurFest) September 16, 2019