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Right-wing figure Kyle Rittenhouse fled the stage during his appearance at a college event in Memphis after being confronted by protesters.

Kyle Rittenhouse, who gained notoriety in 2021 after being acquitted of killing two people and wounding another during a Black Lives Matter protest in Kenosha, Wisconsin, fled off stage during an appearance after being confronted by protesters in the audience. The event at the University of Memphis on Wednesday (March 20), was hosted by members of the conservative Turning Point USA organization at the school.


As the event began, close to 200 protesters made their presence known with signs that read “put Rittenhouse behind bars not a podium” and “no killers on my campus” as Rittenhouse took the stage. One protester asked a question about Turning Point USA founder Charlie Kirk, saying that he “said a lot of racist things,” which prompted Rittenhouse to retort, “Like what? What racist things has Charlie Kirk said? We’re gonna have a bit of a dialogue of what racist things Charlie Kirk said.”

The protester was unmoved, and shot back: “He says that we shouldn’t celebrate Juneteenth, we shouldn’t celebrate Martin Luther King Day—we should be working those days. He called Ketanji Brown Jackson an affirmation action hire, he said all this nonsense about George Floyd and he said he’d be scared if a Black pilot was on a plane. Does that not seem racist?”

“I don’t know anything about that,” Rittenhouse replied, resulting in jeers from the audience. The questioner pressed him. “After all that I just told you, you wouldn’t consider that hate speech?” they asked. Rittenhouse replied, “I’m not gonna comment on that,” before storming off the stage amid a chorus of boos. The 21-year-old was only onstage for a half hour. A video of the moment posted on X, formerly Twitter, has since garnered 7 million views. 

Rittenhouse would later claim in a series of posts on X that he wasn’t forced to leave. “No one forced me to leave the stage… The event was scheduled for 30 minutes and I was on stage for 30 minutes,” he wrote in one post, before adding: “What I find hilarious is that everyone is saying I was ‘chased’ out of Memphis, when in reality, we went to this restaurant called Huey’s, grabbed some food, and nobody seemed to care or notice.”