Hollywood stars who realized they would be appearing at the New Yorker Festival along with former White House chief strategist Steve Bannon threatened to drop out - prompting the magazine to cancel Bannon's role.
Remnick's comments to staff were tweeted by New Yorker reporter Philip Gourevitch.
David Remnick, the US-based magazine's editor-in-chief, announced the reversal on Twitter on Monday when the festival's lineup was met immediate backlash. I hope the @NewYorker will do the right thing and cancel the Steve Bannon event.
"When James Wilson launched this newspaper in 1843, he said its mission was to take part in 'a severe contest between intelligence, which presses forward, and an unworthy, timid ignorance obstructing our progress.' Those words have guided us for 175 years", Beddoes said.
It's likely that Bannon will treat the New Yorker decision as a victory, said columnist Nesrine Malik of The Guardian. "In what I would call a defining moment, David Remnick showed he was gutless when confronted by the howling online mob", he said. "The point of an interview, a rigorous interview, particularly in a case like this, is to put pressure on the views of the person being questioned". Critics slammed the decision, saying it would give the ex-White House staffer a platform to "propel further the "ideas" of white nationalism, racism, anti-Semitism, and illiberalism", as described by Remnick's statement.
For the most part, this debacle has worked out exactly how most people who have been paying attention would have predicted - which is why it is somewhat surprising that Remnick allowed it to happen in the first place.
To that idea, Apatow said in a tweet that Bannon is allowed to speak "as much as he likes". But, he also noted, "I don't want well-meaning readers and staff members to think that I've ignored their concerns".
I do sympathize with the argument that by giving Steve Bannon an honorarium, which the New Yorker Festival was, audience members would be lining the pockets of someone they don't support.
Remnick's decision came after several panelists said they would not share a platform with Bannon, whose influence was seen as having driven Trump's travel ban on majority Muslim countries and his reaction to the killing of a protester by a white supremacist in Charlottesville, Virginia past year. By conducting an interview with one of Trumpism's leading creators and organizers, we are hardly pulling him out of obscurity.
Disinviting Steve Bannon doesn't make him go away.