Published 1:28 p.m. UTC Sep 4, 2018
Amid blistering backlash from celebrity participants, "The New Yorker" has dumped ex-White House adviser Steve Bannon from its festival this fall.
President Donald Trump's former chief strategist was supposed to be interviewed at the event, which has historically attracted A-list artists and public figures. Guests for 2018 are scheduled to include Emily Blunt, Maggie Gyllenhaal, Miguel, Kacey Musgraves, Boots Riley and Sally Yates, who was fired by Trump as deputy attorney general after she refused to back his ban on travelers from Muslim countries.
"I've re-considered," "New Yorker" editor David Remnick announced Monday in a lengthy statement. "There is a better way to do this," he wrote, noting that Bannon has been interviewed for "The New Yorker" previously by its journalists. He said that should he interview Bannon in the future, it would be in "a more traditionally journalistic setting, and not on stage."
"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," Remnick concluded. "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."
In a subsequent statement to CNBC, Bannon condemned the decision to drop him from the festival. “David Remnick showed he was gutless when confronted by the howling online mob," he said.
Bannon's participation had been revealed 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?"
Bannon, ex-chairman of Breitbart News, left the White House in August 2017, soon after white supremacists and counter-protesters clashed violently in Charlottesville, Virginia.
The 2018 New Yorker festival runs Oct. 5-7. The official schedule no longer lists Bannon.
Contributing: The Associated Press