Gavin Miles McInnes (/məˈkɪnɪs/; born 17 July 1970) is a Canadian writer, actor, comedian, co-founder of Vice Media and Vice Magazine and host of The Gavin McInnes Show on Compound Media. He is a contributor for The Rebel Media and Taki's Magazine, and was a frequent guest on television programs on Fox News and TheBlaze. McInnes has been called "the Godfather of the Hipster movement" and "one of hipsterdom's primary architects".
McInnes was born in Hitchin in Hertfordshire, England, to Scottish parents, James and Loraine McInnes. His family emigrated to Canada when McInnes was four. He attended Ottawa's Earl of March Secondary School, studied English literature at Carleton University and received a BA degree at Concordia University in 1991. As a teen, McInnes played in the Ottawa punk band Anal Chinook. As an adult, McInnes immigrated to the US from Canada.
McInnes co-founded Vice in 1994 with Shane Smith and Suroosh Alvi. His role as an editor at Vice led to him being referred to as "the Godfather of hipsterdom" and one of the "primary architects of hipsterdom". He occasionally contributed articles to Vice, including The VICE Guide to Happiness and The VICE Guide to Picking Up Chicks, and co-authored two Vice books: The Vice Guide to Sex and Drugs and Rock and Roll, and Vice Dos and Don'ts: 10 Years of VICE Magazine's Street Fashion Critiques. In an interview in the New York Press in 2002, McInnes said that he was pleased that most Williamsburg hipsters are white. McInnes later claimed in a letter to Gawker that the interview was done as a prank intended to ridicule "baby boomer media like The Times". After he became the focus of a letter-writing campaign by a black reader, Vice apologized for McInnes's comments. McInnes was featured in a 2003 New York Times article about Vice magazine expressing his political views. In 2006, he was featured in The Vice Guide to Travel with actor and comedian David Cross in China. He left Vice in 2008 due to "creative differences". In a 2013 interview with The New Yorker, McInnes claimed his split with Vice was about the increasing influence of corporate advertising on Vice's content, stating that "Marketing and editorial being enemies had been the business plan".
In 2008, McInnes created the website StreetCarnage.com. He also co-founded an advertising agency called Rooster where he serves as creative director. In 2009, McInnes convinced a journalist at The Village Voice that he had been knocked out after losing a challenge to an MMA fighter. The footage was actually an outtake from a failed TV pilot. In 2010, McInnes convinced a journalist at Gawker that he had eaten a bowl of urine-soaked corn flakes after not winning their "Hipster of the Decade" competition. The footage was actually an outtake from a collection of comedy sketches called Gavin McInnes Is a Fucking Asshole.
McInnes was featured in Season 3 of the Canadian reality TV show Kenny vs Spenny, as a judge in the "Who is Cooler?" episode. In 2010, McInnes was approached by Adult Swim and asked to play the part of Mick, an anthropomorphic Scottish soccer ball, in the short-lived Aqua Teen Hunger Force spin-off Soul Quest Overdrive. After losing a 2010 pilot contest to Cheyenne Cinnamon and the Fantabulous Unicorn of Sugar Town Candy Fudge, six episodes of Soul Quest Overdrive were ordered, with four airing in Adult Swim's 4 AM DVR Theater block on 25 May 2011 before quickly being cancelled. McInnes jokingly blamed the show's cancellation on the other cast members (Kristen Schaal, David Cross, and H. Jon Benjamin) not being "as funny" as him.
In 2012, McInnes wrote a book named How to Piss in Public. In 2013 he directed The Brotherhood of the Traveling Rants, a documentary on his tour as an occasional standup comedian. For the film, he faked a serious car accident. Also that year, McInnes starred in the independent film How to Be a Man, which premiered at Sundance Next Weekend. He has also played supporting roles in other films including Soul Quest Overdrive (2010) and Creative Control (2015) and One More Time (2015).
In October 2013, McInnes was interviewed by The Huffington Post on a panel about masculinity. He said that "people would be happier if women would stop pretending to be men", and that feminism "has made women less happy". He explained that "We've trivialized childbirth and being domestic so much that women are forced to pretend to be men. They're feigning this toughness, they're miserable." A heated argument ensued with University of Miami School of Law professor Mary Anne Franks.
In August 2014, McInnes was asked to take an indefinite leave of absence as chief creative officer of Rooster, following online publication at Thought Catalog of an essay about transphobia titled "Transphobia is Perfectly Natural" that sparked a call to boycott the company. In response, Rooster issued a statement, saying in part: "We are extremely disappointed with his actions and have asked that he take a leave of absence while we determine the most appropriate course of action." McInnes defended the article by saying "All I was saying was transsexuals have a huge suicide rate", and calling the reaction "fake hysteria".
In June 2015, Anthony Cumia announced that McInnes will be hosting a show on his network, therefore retiring the Free Speech podcast. The Gavin McInnes Show premiered on Compound Media on 15 June and airs Monday through Thursday at 10:30 A.M EST. McInnes is a contributor to Canadian conservative portal The Rebel Media and a regular on Infowars' The Alex Jones Show, Fox News' Red Eye, The Greg Gutfield Show, and The Sean Hannity Show. He writes for the web magazine Taki's Magazine, and previously wrote for TruthRevolt, Death and Taxes, The Federalist, American Renaissance and VDARE. McInnes tweeted in December 2015 that every case of domestic abuse he knows about "was the result of some cunt trying to ruin [a man’s] life". In 2016, McInnes referred to Jada Pinkett Smith as a "monkey actress" on his radio show.
McInnes was accused of antisemitism in March 2017 when, during a trip to Israel with "The Rebel," he made controversial comments defending Holocaust deniers, accused the Jews of being responsible for the Holodomor and the Treaty of Versailles, and claimed that he was "becoming anti-Semitic". He later said his comments were meant to be humorous. McInnes also produced a satirical video for Rebel called "Ten Things I Hate about Jews", later retitled "Ten Things I Hate About Israel", which also resulted in accusations of antisemitism.
McInnes left Rebel Media in August 2017.He later joined CRTV, an online television network launched by Conservative Review. The debut episode of his new show Get Off My Lawn, aired on 22 September 2017.
In 2005, McInnes married Manhattan-based publicist and consultant Emily Jendrisak, a member of the Ho-Chunk tribe. McInnes said in 2013 that after being an atheist most of his life, fatherhood made him believe in God and he became Catholic. He has three children.
McInnes has stated he adheres to libertarianism. He has referred to himself as a "western chauvinist" and started a men's organization called Proud Boys who swear their allegiance to this cause. In a 2003 New York Times profile, McInnes stated: "I don't want our culture diluted. We need to close the borders now and let everyone assimilate to a Western, English-speaking way of life."
- Kenny vs Spenny: Episode "Who is Cooler" (2006) – as himself (guest judge)
- Vice Guide to Travel (2006) – as himself
- Sophie Can Walk (2008) – as himself
- Asshole (2009) – as himself
- A Million in the Morning (2010) – as host
- Soul Quest Overdrive (2010) – as Mick
- How to Be a Man (2013) – as Mark McCarthy
- The Brotherhood of the Traveling Rants (2013) – as himself
- Creative Control (2015) – as Scott
- One More Time (2015) – as Record Producer
- Long Nights Short Mornings (2016) – as Comedian