Bannon 'embraced' being likened to Satan, filmmaker says
© Greg Nash

Former White House chief strategist Stephen Bannon “embraced” a comparison between him and Satan, documentary filmmaker Errol Morris said on Wednesday, according to the Associated Press.

Morris said he compared Bannon to Satan while interviewing him for “American Dharma,” Morris’s new documentary about Bannon. He said he was surprised when Bannon “embraced the idea.”


“My wife had mentioned to me that, you know, ’Bannon is a little bit like Lucifer in ‘Paradise Lost,’ and I mentioned this to him,” Morris said. “I said, ‘You know, that Lucifer character — aka Satan — reminds me of you!’ I think that’s learning something, because he embraces the idea.”

“How many characters — I’ve interviewed all kinds of characters over the years — how many characters have embraced the idea that they might be Satan? I can’t think of any, except for one: Steve BannonStephen (Steve) Kevin BannonJuan Williams: The new abnormal Catholic cardinal says Steve Bannon using monastery for political purposes How Russia exploited Trump's messy presidential transition MORE. He loved the idea,” Morris added.

“American Dharma” premiered Wednesday at the Venice Film Festival. Bannon attended the screening of the film but is not at the film festival as part of the documentary's official delegation, according to Variety.

Earlier this week, Bannon was disinvited from The New Yorker’s fall festival in October following backlash over his inclusion in the event. In announcing that Bannon was disinvited, New Yorker editor David Remnick noted that those objecting to Bannon’s appearance argued that Bannon would “propel further the ‘ideas’ of white nationalism, racism, anti-Semitism, and illiberalism.”

Morris said Wednesday that he “struggled” with the idea of giving a platform to Bannon but added that he believes the film does “something different,” according to the AP.

He also defended himself in multiple interviews at the film festival against critics of giving a platform to Bannon.

"My answer is not to remain silent and not make the movie," he said, according to Variety. "I believe I’ve done something different….Trying to explore the nature of what [Bannon] calls national populism, what it means for the world, for my country, I think is absolutely essential.”

He also blasted people who call something "evil" or "bad," according to the AP.

“If you’re trying to tell me that this is evil or this is bad or this is pernicious or this is destructive, you should be scared, and you also should be scared because you’ll learn nothing because you don’t want to learn anything,” he said. “All people today want to see is journalists sitting in front of a table discussing what they think about x, y and z. They don’t want to see people going out and trying to find things out. Easy to say you did nothing, but even if I did nothing, I tried.”