UPDATED: The New Yorker Festival announced its lineup Monday and hours later dropped its headlining guest, former White House chief strategist Steve Bannon, after at least five comedian panelists announced via Twitter they would not participate if Bannon remained.
Staff members of the New Yorker tweeted that editor-in-chief David Remnick, who was set to interview Bannon, sent an internal memo saying that he’s “re-considered” and “changed my mind,” which the New Yorker later posted to Twitter. He added that “if the opportunity presents itself, I’ll interview him in a more traditionally journalistic setting as we first discussed and not on stage.”
John Mulaney tweeted “I’m out” and explained that while he “genuinely support[s] public intellectual debate…this isn’t James Baldwin vs William F Buckley.”
He went on to characterize Bannon’s inclusion as “PT Barnum level horses—” and added “hard pass on this amateur-night sonofabitch.”
“If Steve Bannon is at the New Yorker festival I am out,” wrote Judd Apatow. “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.”
Jim Carrey followed suit shortly after, writing “Bannon? And me? On the same program? Could never happen.”
Patton Oswalt also rescinded his participation Monday. “Sorry @NewYorker. See if Milo Yiannopoulos is free?”
A minute later, Bo Burnham posted on Twitter that he is also out. “After learning of the inclusion of Steve Bannon, I am respectfully saying f— that. Peace and love!”
The 19th iteration of the festival runs Oct. 5-7. Bannon would have participated in a discussion entitled “The Ideology of Trumpism.”
Other prominent participants include David Hogg, Emily Blunt, Maggie Gyllenhaal, Haruki Murakami, and Zadie Smith. Janet Mock, Sally Q. Yates, John Krasinski, Jimmy Fallon, Kehinde Wiley, and Boots Riley will also guest.
Tickets go on sale to subscribers Thursday and the general public Friday.