This year, Steve Bannon has become the first person in American history to have planned appearances scuttled at both the New Yorker Festival and a conference connected to one dedicated to sex robot technology.
Bannon, the former publisher of Breitbart News who had influential stints as both the chairman of Donald Trump’s 2016 presidential campaign and in Trump’s White House, had been set this week to deliver a keynote address at the International Conference on Advances in Computer Entertainment (ACE). But the event, as well as a co-located conference called the International Congress on Love and Sex with Robots (LSR), have now been canceled, the Independent reported.
The events were called off, the newspaper said, due to “protests from activists and fellow speakers.” A similar outcry arose in September when Bannon was announced as participating in the New Yorker’s annual festival. Bannon was dropped from that event, but the conference was not canceled and went ahead as scheduled.
The sex robot convention is described on its website as “an excellent opportunity for academics and industry professionals to present and discuss their innovative work and ideas in an academic symposium.” According to the Independent, the LSR conference has now been postponed until January 2020, where it will be held in Las Vegas at the same time as “a pornography convention,” presumably the annual AVN Adult Entertainment Expo.
The ACE and LSR conferences were scheduled as technically separate events, but according to their website, they were to be held at the same venue at the same time and any attendee of one conference was able to attend the other. In addition, the two conference websites have the same template.
ACE 2018, 15th International Conference on Advances in Computer Entertainment Technology, becomes the first academic computer science conference in history to be shut down by fanatic left-wing anti-free speech protests by the #antifa #boycottace mobsters https://t.co/mI8sxVo8lY pic.twitter.com/LrN8lCHOxm— ACE 2018 (@acedimea) November 27, 2018
Bannon has often been criticized for what his critics consider white nationalist political views. And the ACE organizers came out swinging against their critics on their website, declaring that ACE is “the first academic computer science conference in history to be shut down by fanatic left-wing free speech protests.” The opponents of Bannon’s appearance at the conference are also likened to a “fascist style mob” which is “very similar to what happened in Germany in 1933.”
The site also continues to state that Bannon would appear for an “academic debate” at the university on December 11, but according to the Montana Kaimin student newspaper, that debate also was canceled, due to Bannon being “unavailable.”
The former White House adviser likely broke with Trump in early 2018, when it was believed he had been a major source for Michael Wolff’s bestselling book Fire and Fury, which depicted a chaotic Trump White House in the administration’s early months. Following a brief return to Breitbart, Bannon spent much of 2018 helping right-wing candidates in Europe, except for occasional controversies generated by his public appearances.