Bret Easton Ellis: ‘I’d Much Rather Have MILO on Twitter Than a Middle-Aged Actress Who Can’t Handle Trolls’

Nicholas Hunt/Getty Images For Soho House & Co
Nicholas Hunt/Getty Images For Soho House & Co

American Psycho and Less Than Zero author Bret Easton Ellis was recently interviewed by Dazed where he discussed Breitbart Senior Editor MILO and the rise of PC culture.

From Dazed:

One person who certainly would have voted for the current president if he could have is British news editor Milo Yiannopoulos, who works for far-right website Breitbart, founded by Steve Bannon, now the president’s chief strategist. The three of us are talking the day after protestors at UC Berkeley shut down an appearance from the controversial commentator, who was due to speak on campus as part of his “Dangerous Faggot” tour, a person Easton Ellis describes as a “provocateur” and someone whose @Nero account was deleted from Twitter after he became involved in an argument with Ghostbusters star Leslie Jones, who was being subjected to racist abuse.

Easton gave his own opinion on MILO, deriding Twitter for the banning of the Dangerous Faggot from their platform,

“I would much rather have Milo Yiannopoulos on Twitter than a middle-aged actress who can’t handle trolls,” says Easton Ellis. “This complete inability to deal with shit is why Trump won. Trump decimated identity politics. He completely erased whatever the authoritarian PC culture was that emerged during the Obama era and was going to keep exploding into the Clinton era. He completely blew that up, because no-one could live under that. I think it hit its apex with that Steve Martin tweet about Carrie Fisher (see below). Identity politics feminists wrote essays saying ‘how dare you objectify Carrie Fisher’ and he deleted the tweet. Everyone was outraged over it.”

Ellis is of course referring to Steve Martin’s tweet which landed him in hot water when he described Carrie Fisher as beautiful, witty and bright. Easton Ellis continued his interview with Dazed discussing the topic of free speech,

Easton Ellis is at his most animated when discussing freedom of speech or the idea that “feelings aren’t facts” and it’s something that he’s spoken about at length on his popular podcast. While it’s easy to agree with him that Steve Martin being criticised vigorously for saying Carrie Fisher is beautiful is an overreaction, or that the determined policing of language online might be stifling discussion, let me say that Leslie Jones being forced off Twitter after receiving racist abuse is grim, wrong and certainly not down to her “not being able to handle trolls”. It’s an actress being hounded and racially abused to the point she shuts her Twitter.

Easton Ellis’ collaborator and friend Alex Israel voiced his similar opinion,

While quieter on the subject, to an extent Israel agrees with Easton Ellis. “I think people also have to be okay with being offended and arguing – I don’t want to live in a world where I’m never offended. That’s not an interesting place for my creative brain to live and exist.”

Read the full interview with Bret Easton Ellis and Alex Israel here.