Steve Bannon dropped from New Yorker festival after backlash

Calvin Saunders
September 5, 2018

Jim Carrey, Judd Apatow, and John Mulaney have all tweeted that they will not participate in the same lineup as Bannon.

The New Yorker Festival's 19th edition will take place from October 5-7 and will include anti-gun activist David Hogg, actress Emily Blunt and writers Haruki Murakami and Zadie Smith.

New Yorker editor David Remnick, who initially defended the decision to invite Bannon, issued a statement late Monday saying he had changed his mind and would interview him "in a more traditionally journalistic setting. and not on stage", the Guardian reports.

Though Remick is no fan of the Trump administration and planned on grilling Bannon, the decision was made to disinvite him due to the number of celebrities who began canceling. "After being contacted several months ago and with seven weeks of continual requests for this event, I accepted The New Yorker's invitation with no thought of an honorarium", Bannon said. But this isn't James Baldwin versus William F. Buckley. "But I would have thought that the point of a festival of ideas was to expose the audience to ideas". Now, New Yorker is selling tickets to see him headline. "I can not wrap my mind around this Bannon thing", she said on Twitter.

Mulaney likewise threatened to walk, noting that while he appreciates a serious debate, Bannon's discourse is more akin to "PT Barnum level horses**t". And it was announced on a weekend just before tix went on sale'.

Remnick has yet to announce what that "better way" might be, but he did say in his statement that he had originally reached out to Bannon for an interview on the New Yorker Radio Hour, the podcast and public radio show he hosts.

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As of publication, Jim Carrey, Jack Antonoff, Patton Oswalt, and Bo Burnham have also canceled their scheduled appearances.

Since leaving the White House previous year, Bannon has continued to champion right-wing causes, including supporting British anti-Islam activist Tommy Robinson, who was freed from prison last month after winning a legal challenge over contempt charges.

- Chelsea Clinton (@ChelseaClinton) September 3, 2018Hey, New Yorker, I'm happy to come see Steve Bannon speak at your festival if Robert Muller is asking the questions. It's obvious that no matter how tough the questioning, Bannon is not going to burst into tears and change his views of the world.

Late Monday, Remnick announced that Bannon would not speak at the festival after all.

And when New Yorker staff writer Alexandra Schwartz tweeted, "I am hugely relieved that the event will not happen", economist and author Malcolm Gladwell replied, "Call me old-fashioned".

Other reports by MaliBehiribAe

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