NEW YORK – Facing widespread outrage from celebrity participants, The New Yorker has dropped plans to interview Steve Bannon during its festival next month.
New Yorker editor David Remnick told the Associated Press in a statement Monday that should he interview Bannon in the future, it would be in “a more traditionally journalistic setting, and not on stage.”
Donald Trump’s former chief strategist was supposed to be a featured guest during the prestigious gathering, which over the years has drawn some of the world’s most prominent artists and public figures. This year’s guests include Emily Blunt, Miguel, Kacey Musgraves, Zadie Smith and Sally Yates, who Trump fired as deputy attorney general after she refused to back his ban on travelers from Muslim countries.
“I’ve re-considered,” Remnick said in his statement. “There is a better way to do this,” noting that Bannon has been interviewed for The New Yorker before by its journalists.
“It’s obvious that no matter how tough the questioning, Bannon is not going to burst into tears and change his view of the world. He believes he is right and that his ideological opponents are mere ‘snowflakes.’ The question is whether an interview has value … to a reader or an audience.”
The announcement of Bannon’s participation was made earlier Monday and quickly denounced. Filmmaker Judd Apatow and comedians Jimmy Fallon, Jim Carrey and Patton Oswalt, among others, tweeted that they would not attend if Bannon was interviewed.
“If Steve Bannon is at the New Yorker festival I am out,” Apatow wrote. “I will not take part in an event that normalizes hate. … Maybe they should read their own reporting about his ideology.”
“Bannon? And me? On the same program?” Carrey tweeted. “Could never happen.”
“I’m out,” Oswalt posted. “See if Milo Yiannopoulos is free?“
The 2018 festival runs Oct. 5-7. The official schedule no longer lists Bannon.
Contributing: The Associated Press and Kim Willis
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