This post was updated Feb. 14 at 11:07 p.m.
Conservative commentator Milo Yiannopoulos will no longer be speaking at UCLA, the Bruin Republicans announced in a Facebook post Wednesday night.
Yiannopoulos was originally scheduled to speak at the Bruin Republicans’ “Ten Things I Hate About Mexico” event on Feb. 26 at the Ackerman Grand Ballroom. However, a day after announcing the event, Bruin Republicans said in a post it decided to cancel the event because the organization’s leadership was divided on whether to move forward with it.
The club canceled an event with Yiannopoulos last year because the group could not accommodate his requirements for the event.
Bruin Republicans added in the statement it did not cancel this year’s event because of public backlash or potential protests.
A Facebook page calling for protests against Yiannopoulos’ event showed 162 people signed up to go as of Wednesday night.
Chancellor Gene Block said in an email to the campus community Wednesday night he was grateful Bruin Republicans decided to cancel the event because he did not think the event would engage in reasoned discussion. He added he thinks the event would have been contrary to UCLA’s values because he thinks it would have been an opportunity for Yiannopoulos to gain notoriety.
“I hope we will all continue to resist such provocations and nurture our campus culture, which values ideas over hatred,” Block said.
Gabriel Rossman, a professor of sociology who is an informal mentor for Bruin Republicans, wrote an open letter Wednesday asking the club to rescind its invitation to Yiannopoulos. Rossman said he thinks the club made the right decision to cancel the event.
Rossman, who is a conservative, said although he supported the club’s right to hold the event, he thinks Yiannopoulos’ views are toxic.
“It was their decision to make,” he said. “I like that UCLA is the kind place where they could make the decision to hold the event or to not hold it.”
Rossman said he wrote the letter after a Bruin Republicans’ member who was uncomfortable with the event asked him Tuesday morning to help lobby the club to cancel Yiannopoulos’ invitation. However, he said he made the letter public in The Weekly Standard, a conservative magazine, because Bruin Republicans announced the Yiannopoulos event Tuesday night.
“I really would have liked it to be handled internally, instead of having a thousand people read the letter,” he said.
Bruin Republicans will refund tickets to individuals who had purchased them, the group added in it’s statement.