Gavin McInnes, the founder of the violent neo-fascist gang the Proud Boys, was fired from Blaze Media, and his YouTube account was disabled ― the latest in a series of professional setbacks for the far-right bigot.
The Blaze, founded by conservative pundit Glenn Beck, merged with CRTV last week to form right-wing media giant Blaze Media. McInnes hosted a podcast with CRTV called “Get Off My Lawn,” which he used to discuss his anti-Muslim and misogynistic beliefs.
“Blaze Media no longer has a relationship with Gavin McInnes, and per company policy, cannot comment on personnel matters,” the company tweeted Saturday.
Asked for comment Monday about his firing, McInnes told HuffPost he believed “there has been a concerted effort to de-platform me” and claimed he was the victim of “lies and propaganda.”
“Someone very powerful decided long ago that I shouldn’t have a voice,” he wrote in an email. “I’m finally out of platforms and unable to defend myself. ... We are no longer living in a free country.”
McInnes, who co-founded Vice before leaving the media company in 2008, quit the Proud Boys last month a day after a report indicated that the FBI had described them as an “extremist group with ties to white nationalism.” The FBI has since denied classifying the group as an extremist group, The Washington Post reported Friday.
In October, members of the Proud Boys violently assaulted leftist protesters outside the Metropolitan Republican Club in Manhattan, where McInnes spoke earlier that evening. At least nine of them were arrested days later.
His ouster from Blaze comes after several social media platforms, including Facebook and Twitter, banned him over their policies prohibiting hate speech and “violent extremist groups.” He has also been kicked off Amazon and PayPal.
The Daily Beast reported Monday that McInnes’ YouTube profile and channel have been deleted. McInnes said YouTube received complaints about copyright violations for old videos featured on his page.
A statement on his channel’s now-defunct page reads, “This account has been terminated because we received multiple third-party claims of copyright infringement regarding material the user posted.”
Asked if McInnes has been banned from the platform, a YouTube spokesperson said in a statement Monday that the company terminates the accounts of “repeat offenders.”
“When a copyright holder notifies us of a video that infringes on their copyright, we act quickly to remove content, as is required of us by law,” the spokesperson said.
According to YouTube’s copyright strikes policy, a copyright offender may submit a counternotification arguing that a video in question was “misidentified as infringing or qualifies as a potential fair use.”
McInnes told HuffPost he plans to file counternotifications for the copyright complaints.
This story has been updated with additional comments from YouTube and McInnes.
CLARIFICATION: A previous version of this story stated the FBI labeled the Proud Boys an extremist group. The bureau has denied making that classification.