Two of the past year’s most divisive public figures, former pharmaceutical executive Martin Shkreli and Breitbart News editor Milo Yiannopoulos, are scheduled to speak at UC Davis on Friday.
Shkreli drew public ire as the former CEO of Turing Pharmaceuticals who raised the cost of the drug Daraprim by more than 5,000 percent in 2015. The drug helps prevent a parasitic infection that is particularly harmful to people with HIV. He’ll take the stage at 6:30 p.m. with Yiannopoulos of the provocative, conservative news site Breitbart News. Yiannopoulos was permanently banned from Twitter last year after he appeared to encourage racist comments targeted at “Ghostbusters” remake actress Leslie Jones.
Breitbart News announced on Jan. 11 that Shkreli would join Yiannopoulos at UC Davis. The student newspaper The California Aggie posted the news Thursday.
Yiannopoulos, who is gay and aligns with the ultra-conservative “alt-right” movement, will visit the UC Davis campus by invitation from the UC Davis College Republicans. His tour is billed as a crusade against “social justice warriors” and has already ignited violent protests on multiple college campuses.
The Republican student group is requesting donations at the free event. UC Davis students have protested the visit on social media and in a letter to administration, according to the Aggie. UC Davis Interim Chancellor Ralph Hexter responded to students by letter Wednesday, stating the administration will not cancel the event but will be “prepared to deescalate potential incidents.”