Steve Bannon dropped from New Yorker festival after backlash

Steve Bannon dropped from New Yorker festival after backlash

Steve Bannon dropped from New Yorker festival after backlash

Trump fired Yates after she refused to support his initial ban on travellers from seven Muslim countries, which was advocated by Bannon during his time as White House chief strategist.

Social media was flooded with tweets and posts of people who disapproved of Steve Bannon's inclusion and within hours of the public announcement Bannon would head a panel, the New Yorker officially disinvited him.

Jimmy Fallon, Jim Carrey, Judd Apatow, Patton Oswalt and John Mulaney were all scheduled to appear, but one by one they began to make it clear that if Bannon were the headliner, they wouldn't be showing up at all.

"Bannon? And me? On the same program?" Now, New Yorker is selling tickets to see him headline. Still, by committing to have some kind of dialogue with Bannon in the future, Remnick, clearly, does not seem to think he's out of bounds.

Remnick added that, unlike for interviews, the publication pays for travel and lodging for festival guests, which was a problem for New Yorker staffers and readers alike. "The audience itself, by its presence, puts a certain pressure on a conversation that an interview alone doesn't do". Everyone, it seemed, was mad at the New Yorker for "normalizing" Steve Bannon, and, perhaps worse, "giving him a platform".


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. Director Ava DuVernay lamented that the magazine was selling tickets to see a man who had helped white nationalists reach the mainstream.

Ben Stiller is not scheduled to be a part of the fest but wanted in on pulling out anyway, writing "I totally was available to fill in when everyone dropped out but would have so quickly said no f-ing way if they had asked, but now it's all moot, so never mind". I am not so fragile in my beliefs that Steve Bannon or Milo or any one of their ilk will be able to convince me that we should build the wall or lock her up, but if you don't want to be exposed to risky ideas, I'm sure Bo Burnham's talk will be a nice, safe space. "But to interview Bannon is not to endorse him". I have already made that very clear to David Remnick.

Faced with all these A-list departures, festival organizers quickly chose to do an about-face, announcing that Bannon would no longer be invited to speak.

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.

"I would like to invite you to sit down with me for an informal, free-ranging discussion of the political movements redefining worldwide and local politics".

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