Gavin McInnes Sues SPLC Over Proud Boys Hate Group Designation
The founder of a far-right men’s group called the Proud Boys is suing the Southern Poverty Law Center for labeling the organization a hate group.
Gavin McInnes filed the defamation lawsuit Monday in federal court in Alabama. The lawsuit contends the designation is false and damaged his career.
In the lawsuit, McInnes blames the SPLC’s “hate group” designation for the Proud Boys for everything from his being kicked off of PayPal, Facebook, and Twitter, to criticism from his own neighbors in a tony New York suburb.
“Mr. McInnes is essentially an untouchable, unable to retain or be considered for gainful employment in his line of work,” the lawsuit claims.
McInnes is suing the SPLC for defamation and tortious interference with economic advantage. McInnes also wants a court order stopping the SPLC and its employees from referring to him as someone connected to a hate group.
McInnes was a co-founder of Vice Media. He founded the Proud Boys, an organization that describes members as “western chauvinists.”
The SPLC says the group is “known for anti-Muslim and misogynistic rhetoric” and members “maintain affiliations with known extremists.”
The SPLC press office did not immediately return a telephone message seeking comment.
The SPLC in June apologized and agreed to pay $3.4 million to a British group and its founder after labeling them anti-Muslim extremists. Several lawsuits have been filed since then.
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