It’s almost been two decades since the first New Yorker festival that features celebrity panels offering their own, unique views on issues, but this year someone won’t be appearing. After the New Yorker invited former White House Chief Strategist Steve Bannon to this year’s festival that runs from October 5-7, celebrities began pulling out of the event. The celebrity backlash included public figures such as Jim Carrey, Judd Apatow, and Patton Oswalt who didn’t hesitate to share their dismay at Bannon’s invitation.
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.
New Yorker editor, David Remnick, released a statement discussing his plan for interviewing him. He stated the following.
“I have every intention of asking him difficult questions and engaging in a serious and even combative conversation. The audience itself, by its presence, puts a certain pressure on a conversation that an interview alone doesn’t do. You can’t jump on and off the record.”
Though Remick is no fan of the Trump administration and planned on grilling Bannon, the decision was made to disinvite him due to the number of celebrities who began canceling.
Steve Bannon is known for his alt-right views that many in the public have linked with white supremacy. It was on this basis that celebrities began pulling out of the event.
Judd Apatow released the following tweet when he learned of Bannon’s intended appearance.
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.
— Judd Apatow (@JuddApatow) September 3, 2018
It didn’t take long for Steve Bannon to become a viral trend on Twitter as other voices joined Jim Carrey’s, Patton Oswalt’s and Judd Apatow’s that Bannon shouldn’t attend.
While some people agreed with the celebrities taking a stand others questioned why the New Yorker invited Bannon to begin with. As many have no qualms about calling Bannon a white supremacist, the sentiment was readily expressed that there was no reason to give him a panel and let him have a platform to espouse his views.
Others felt that it was censorship and that Bannon has as much right to speak as anyone else.
What do you think? Did the New Yorker do the right thing?