Steve Bannon To Headline ‘The New Yorker’ Festival

Sean Gallup / Getty Images

One thing that The New Yorker magazine values itself on is the presentation of a wide and varying number of perspectives. The publication has backed that ethos despite what will be an incredible amount of backlash when it revealed the lineup for its 19th annual The New Yorker Festival, to be held in venues across New York City from October 5-7.

President Donald Trump’s former chief strategist Steve Bannon is the most notable name that has been revealed in a lineup that boasts several big names and newsmakers in the world of politics. Bannon will take part in an interview with The New Yorker editor David Remnick, first reported by The New York Times.

“I have every intention of asking him difficult questions and engaging in a serious and even combative conversation,” said Remnick, who is one of the publication’s largest critics of the Trump administration. “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.”

Another notable political guest is David Hogg, who has become one of the nation’s largest critics of gun policies after his survival during a school shooting in Parkland, Florida. Hogg will be taking part in a conversation about social activism with police-reform advocate Brittany Packnett and the iconic entertainer and social activist Harry Belafonte.

The New Yorker views itself as an eclectic publication, and as such its guests will not only emerge from the world of politics. The publication also revealed actors Jim Carrey, Emily Blunt, and Maggie Gyllenhaal will be in attendance for interviews with journalists from the magazine, as will the writers Haruki Murakami and Zadie Smith. The New Yorker theater critic Hilton Als will be interviewing the transgender activist and writer Janet Mock about her career and activism.

The publication has also announced actor John Krasinski, former Deputy Attorney General Sally Q. Yates, late-night host Jimmy Fallon, artist Kehinde Wiley, comedian Bo Burnham, and the musician and filmmaker Boots Riley will also take part in the festival. Musicians Kelela, Miguel, and Kacey Musgraves will be on hand to give interviews followed by a musical performance.

Remnick emphasized the appeal of such an eclectic lineup and encouraged audiences to attend, as they “get to be in the middle of the spontaneity of a conversation in the way that a written piece, despite its virtues, doesn’t offer. The possibility of fireworks is there.”