September 4, 2018: New Yorker Festival Drops Steve Bannon Following Backlash, Why U.S. Open Players Are Holding Promotional Events at New York Hotels, Toronto International Film Festival to Sign Gender Equality Charter

By Ian Zelaya September 4, 2018, 9:06 AM EDT

1. NEW YORKER FESTIVAL DROPS STEVE BANNON FOLLOWING BACKLASH: The New Yorker disinvited former White House chief strategist Steve Bannon to its annual festival after receiving backlash from high-profile participants and employees of the magazine when it was announced Monday that Bannon was a headliner. CNN: “Bannon responded to the uproar by criticizing the magazine and the 'howling online job.' The about-face happened in the span of a few hours on Monday. But the booking had been in the works for months. The magazine's top editor, David Remnick, had been seeking an interview with Bannon. Eventually he was invited to appear on stage at the festival in early October. He accepted, and The New York Times revealed Bannon's appearance in an article on Monday morning. Some New Yorker staffers objected. And so did an assortment of voices on social media. Some of them asserted that The New Yorker, both in location and orientation, stands in opposition to many of Bannon's agenda items. They urged Remnick and the magazine to reconsider. In the 5 p.m. hour on Labor Day, several prominent celebrities who were also on the festival schedule said they would drop out if Bannon were to appear. 'Hard pass,' John Mulaney tweeted. Jim Carrey, Judd Apatow, and Patton Oswald were among the others. 'If Steve Bannon is at the New Yorker festival I am out, I will not take part in an event that normalizes hate,' Apatow tweeted. By then, Remnick was already working on a response letter. Around 6:15 p.m., he emailed staffers to say 'I've thought this through and talked to colleagues—and I've re-considered. I've changed my mind.' He said Bannon was being uninvited from the festival."

2. WHY U.S. OPEN PLAYERS ARE HOLDING PROMOTIONAL EVENTS AT NEW YORK HOTELS: U.S. Open players like Serena Williams, Stan Wawrinka, and Nicolas Mahut have been promoting Manhattan hotels through social media posts and promotional events. In return, the hotels give the players discounts and the ability to host exclusive hotel experiences like meet-and-greets. The New York Times: “Mr. Mahut’s deal was set up by his manager, Fabien Paget, the founder of O2 Management. Mr. Paget has arranged hotel partnerships for many players. He said he is working with eight to 10 hotels this year, helping them find a way to connect themselves to the excitement of the U.S. Open without being an official tournament sponsor. 'They can engage and create content through an athlete who plays the tournament,' he said. 'We were confident that there was a win-win situation here, so the concept was very simple.' Some of the partnerships are obvious: the Japanese players Kei Nishikori and Naomi Osaka are staying at the Kitano Hotel, which is the only Japanese-owned hotel in the city. Mr. Paget once matched Nick Kyrgios, a flashy Australian player, with the W Hotel in Times Square. 'It’s a trendy place; Nick is a trendy guy, with many interests beyond tennis,' Mr. Paget said. 'He loves the energy of the city.' (This time, Mr. Kyrgios, who lost in the third round on Saturday to Roger Federer, stayed at the Lotte New York Palace.) Mr. Paget starts discussing U.S. Open arrangements with hotels in March. He works to create promotional events to engage with the hotel’s guests and ensure that there is something gained to justify giving away rooms to players. The most star-studded hotel event this year was a badminton exhibition at the Palace, including Serena Williams, Venus Williams, Rafael Nadal and Mr. Kyrgios. Sam Querrey has stayed at the Tuscany St. Giles, which asks him to make an appearance each year at an event like a cocktail party or a breakfast for invited guests and the news media. 'It’s pretty easy, and they’re always really flexible,' Mr. Querrey said."

3. TORONTO INTERNATIONAL FILM FESTIVAL TO SIGN GENDER EQUALITY CHARTER: Cameron Bailey, the artistic director and co-head of the Toronto International Film Festival, which kicks off Thursday, will sign a charter that aims for 50-50 gender parity and inclusion at the festival by 2020. The Hollywood Reporter: “TIFF on Friday confirmed Bailey will make the commitment at a signing ceremony on Saturday, September 8, ahead of the festival's Share Her Journey women's rally where actresses Geena Davis, Amanda Brugel, and Mia Kirshner and directors Nandita Das and Amma Asante will speak. Toronto will follow Cannes and Venice in committing the organization to gender parity and inclusion, in part by compiling and releasing statistics on the gender and race of its film submissions, including their directors and, where applicable, the cast and crew. Toronto will also make public the gender and race of its film selectors and programmers and its executive board members as it aims at gender parity and inclusion in their ranks. With recent hires, TIFF currently has 13 women and nine men working as film programmers ahead of its 43rd edition. The festival will offer its own progress updates and provide key data to the 5050x2020 movement, which originated in Cannes."


CHICAGO:  The Women's Board of the Museum of Contemporary Art will host Vernissage, the opening-night benefit and preview of Expo Chicago, the International Exposition of Contemporary & Modern Art on September 27. The event runs through September 30 at Navy Pier. 

LAS VEGAS:  Hilton will begin rebranding the Mandarin Oriental as Waldorf Astoria Las Vegas. The hotel will have 392 guest rooms and 225 residences; Twist, a French restaurant from chef Pierre Gagnaire; a two-floor, 27,000-square-foot spa; and 12,000 square feet of meeting and event space, including the Waldorf Ballroom. 

LOS ANGELES:  Horror and science-fiction film festival Beyond Fest will take place October 4-7 at the Egyptian Theatre. 

For information on upcoming events in Los Angeles, visit Masterplanner:

NEW YORK:  The 10th annual Architecture and Design Film Festival will take place October 16-21 at Cinepolis Chelsea and the S.V.A. Theatre. 

For information on upcoming events in New York, visit Masterplanner:

SAN FRANCISCO:  The Fairmont Hotels & Resorts 33rd annual California Coastal Cleanup Day will take place September 15 at more than 750 sites. The event is part of the International Coastal Cleanup, which is organized by Ocean Conservancy. 

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With contributions from Claire Hoffman in Los Angeles and Beth Kormanik, Michele Laufik, and Ian Zelaya in New York.

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