Steve Bannon dropped from New Yorker festival after backlash

Emmett Rice
September 5, 2018

"We would be honoured to have you", he writes at the end.

Several celebrities have announced they will no longer participate in pre-planned panels for the upcoming New Yorker Festival if former White House chief strategist Steve Bannon remains on the lineup.

"I have every intention of asking him hard questions and engaging in a serious and even combative conversation", Remnick told the New York Times before the cancellation.

New Yorker editor David Remnick dropped the news in a statement he posted to Twitter. "The point of an interview, a rigorous interview, particularly in a case like this, is to put pressure on the views of the person being questioned".

But outrage followed, including from others scheduled to appear at the festival.

'But this isn't James Baldwin vs William F Buckley. This is PT Barnum level horse****.

The announcement did not go over well. And I look forward to future @NewYorker Fests & other public, even heated, debates between different voices. "But hard pass on this amateur-night sonofab--h". "Sorry, @NewYorker. See if Milo Yiannopoulos is free?" a reference to the far-right writer and speaker whose memoir was dropped past year by Simon & Schuster after numerous complaints.

- Judd Apatow (@JuddApatow) September 3, 2018I'm out.

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

"In what I would call a defining moment David Remnick showed he was gutless when confronted by the howling online mob", Mr Bannon said.

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Director Ava DuVernay and author Roxane Gay also spoke out against the decision.

David Remnick, editor of The New Yorker, explained his decision in a lengthy statement.

"Bannon? And me? On the same program?" asked Carey.

Under fire, Remnick, who deservedly is one of the country's most respected journalists, figured this out late Monday - sort of - and withdrew the magazine's invitation. He also acknowledged that guests at the festival, unlike those interviewed on radio or for a story in print, are paid an honorarium along with money for travel and lodging.

"I've changed my mind", Remnick wrote in a memo to staff.

For anyone who wonders what normalisation of bigotry looks like, I'd argue first consider that Steve Bannon was chief strategist under the current president. There is a better way to do this.

He added that the magazine had interviewed Bannon before and would do so again if the opportunity arose "in a more traditionally journalistic setting" rather than on stage.

"There's no illusion here".

"Mr. Bannon stands for a world view that is antithetical to the liberal values The Economist has always espoused", she wrote.

Other reports by Free-Prsite

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