‘New Yorker’ Festival Dumps Steve Bannon After Numerous Participants Pull Out
President Donald Trump‘s former chief strategist, Steve Bannon, was disinvited as a headliner of this years New Yorker Festival after at least five panelists announced via Twitter they would not participate if Bannon remained.
David Remnick, magazine’s editor in chief, rescinded Bannon’s invitation just hours after the announcement of his inclusion at the festival had led to a huge backlash online.
“The reaction on social media was critical and a lot of the dismay and anger was directed at me and my decision to engage him,” Remnick’s note said. “Some members of the staff, too, reached out to say that they objected to the invitation, particularly the forum of the festival. I don’t want well-meaning readers and staff members to think that I’ve ignored their concerns.”
Several people who were supposed to take part in the festival, including comedian John Mulaney, Patton Oswald and filmmaker Judd Apatow, said they wouldn’t attend if Bannon was there. Other prominent people, including Chelsea Clinton, tweeted that the event would be giving Bannon another platform for his ideas.
I’m out. I genuinely support public intellectual debate, and have paid to see people speak with whom I strongly disagree. But this isn’t James Baldwin vs William F Buckley. This is PT Barnum level horseshit. And it was announced on a weekend just before tix went on sale. https://t.co/oYk1llNgvV
— John Mulaney (@mulaney) 3. September 2018
— Patton Oswalt (@pattonoswalt) 3. September 2018
If Steve Bannon is at the New Yorker festival I am out. I will not take part in an event that normalizes hate. I hope the @NewYorker will do the right thing and cancel the Steve Bannon event. Maybe they should read their own reporting about his ideology.
— Judd Apatow (@JuddApatow) 3. September 2018
For anyone who wonders what normalization of bigotry looks like, please look no further than Steve Bannon being invited by both @TheEconomist & @NewYorker to their respective events in #NYC a few weeks apart. https://t.co/u0TDfCYrQ1
— Chelsea Clinton (@ChelseaClinton) 3. September 2018
Actor Jim Carrey also chimed in, saying that a festival featuring Bannon and him “could never happen.”
Bannon? And me? On the same program?
Could never happen.
— Jim Carrey (@JimCarrey) 3. September 2018
The backlash was not limited to would-be festival attendees. The writer Roxane Gay announced that she would no longer be writing an in-progress essay that had been commissioned by the magazine. New Yorker writer Kathryn Schulz tweeted that she was “beyond appalled” at Bannon’s inclusion.
The 19th annual festival runs from Oct. 5 to Oct. 7. Bannon would have participated in a discussion entitled “The Ideology of Trumpism.”
Bannon lashed out at Remnick, calling him “gutless” for rescinding the invitation. “The reason for my acceptance was simple: I would be facing one of the most fearless journalists of his generation,” Bannon said in a statement to The New York Times. “In what I would call a defining moment, David Remnick showed he was gutless when confronted by the howling online mob.”