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The New Yorker Invited And Then Disinvited Steve Bannon To Its Festival And Everyone Has Feelings About It

Just another fun day in 2018 America!

Posted on September 3, 2018, at 8:39 p.m. ET

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On Monday, the New Yorker announced that Steve Bannon would be headlining its annual festival in October. A few hours and a massive wave of anger, backlash, and condemnation later, the magazine changed its mind and decided to yank Trump's former chief strategist from the festival's lineup.

The interview was slated to take place at the 19th annual New Yorker Festival, which features an array of prominent and influential figures and voices from across political, cultural, and artistic spectrums.

So when the New York Times reported that Bannon, who left the White House last year and was ousted from Breitbart — a website he once described as "the platform for the alt-right” — would be the event's main fixture, people had some ~feelings~ and swiftly shared their outrage en masse, including celebrities and writers scheduled to attend.

Comedians Jimmy Fallon, Jim Carrey, and Judd Apatow staunchly stated they would not be on the "same program" as Bannon.

Bannon? And me? On the same program? Could never happen.

"Maybe they should read their own reporting about his ideology," Apatow tweeted.

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.

"After learning of the inclusion of Steve Bannon, I am respectfully saying fuck that. Peace and love!" comedian Bo Burnham chimed in.

I was scheduled to appear at The New Yorker Festival in a conversation with @MJSchulman whom I love dearly. After learning of the inclusion of Steve Bannon, I am respectfully saying fuck that. Peace and love!

Musician Jack Antonoff, best known as the lead singer of the band Bleachers, said he would not be performing if Bannon would be there.

i’m no longer going to be speaking/performing at the new yorker festival as long as steve bannon is there

Even the New Yorker's own Pulitzer Prize–winning columnist Kathryn Schulz condemned the publication, saying she was "beyond appalled."

I love working for @NewYorker, but I'm beyond appalled by this: https://t.co/WlZdsBpF1R I have already made that very clear to David Remnick. You can, too: themail@newyorker.com

Renowned writer and professor Roxane Gay shared similar sentiments.

I can’t believe so many people are willing to appear at event where Steve Bannon will be headlining. And I can’t believe @NewYorker invited him in the first place. https://t.co/ofdATThcGm

"Your decision to feature Steve Bannon as your headline speaker is sending a very clear message to your Black, Brown, immigrant and Muslim readers," added author Khaled Beydoun.

Dear @NewYorker, Your decision to feature Steve Bannon as your headline speaker is sending a very clear message to your Black, Brown, immigrant and Muslim readers. And your soon-to-be former readers.

"For anyone who wonders what normalization of bigotry looks like, please look no further than Steve Bannon being invited by both [the Economist] and [the New Yorker] to their respective events in #NYC a few weeks apart," said Chelsea Clinton.

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

Some said they were canceling their subscriptions, calling Bannon's inclusion "disgraceful."

Congratulations, @NewYorker. I’ve been a subscriber for 35 years and I just cancelled my subscription. I hope others follow suit. This is disgraceful. https://t.co/nP3sd7e4EV

Cancelled my New Yorker subscription. I love hearing different points of view, even those I disagree with, but racism and white supremacy do not deserve a platform. Hard pass.

Even the cats were pissed.

disillusioned w/ the New Yorker, Cherie will nap from now on exclusively on New York Review of Books & the Nation.

As was the stage, apparently.

Even the stage doesn’t want Steve Bannon on it. https://t.co/C4G3Gymqsw

Faced with intensifying and mounting criticism, New Yorker editor David Remnick, who had originally defended the decision to include and interview Bannon, rescinded Bannon's invitation, concluding that there is a "better way" to engage the man who has embraced white nationalist ideas and, arguably, helped shape the president's persona and policies.

A statement from David Remnick, editor of The New Yorker, explaining his decision to no longer include Steve Bannon in the 2018 New Yorker Festival. https://t.co/opayiw5GQ2

In his statement, Remnick wrote that he had spent the past few months trying to nail down an interview with Bannon.

"By conducting an interview with one of Trumpism’s leading creators and organizers, we are hardly pulling him out of obscurity. Ahead of the mid-term elections and with 2020 in sight, we’d be taking the opportunity to question someone who helped assemble Trumpism," the editor reasoned.

The point of interviewing someone who holds far-right, racist, and anti-Semitic beliefs, Remnick stated, "is to put pressure on the views of the person being questioned."

However, people, including Joyce Carol Oates, pointed out that including a former top staffer to Trump makes no sense.

strangest thing about New Yorker/ Bannon is that interviewing Bannon two years ago would've been truly cutting-edge, risky, & controversial; by 2018, Bannon has been exhaustively interviewed & covered, esp. by N Y Times. also, his influence has waned considerably.

And that he should never have been invited in the first place.

They don’t deserve to be endorsed — even tacitly — by the New Yorker by being put on display. I don’t care that he was pulled. He should never have been booked in the first place.

In the end, there was a whole bunch of intense brouhaha on the internet about a thing that is no longer happening and, as most people believe, should never have been a thing in the first place.

So The New Yorker invited Steve Bannon to its festival, faced a backlash, uninvited him in a lengthy letter — and everyone is now debating it on here. Did I miss anything?

And for those "two or three people who are both fans of The New Yorker and Steve Bannon..."

Tough day for the two or three people who are both fans of The New Yorker and Steve Bannon

Maybe this NPR host can help fill the void?

I volunteer to take Steve Bannon’s place at the New Yorker Festival, as I am also physically repulsive and have nothing to say you haven’t heard before.

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