OZY Fest 2018: As It Happened
WHY YOU SHOULD CARE
Because if you couldn’t make it to New York City for the hottest event of the summer, we’ve got you covered.
By OZY Editors
Thank you for joining us at OZY Fest, the hottest summer festival in New York City, where the worlds of politics and sports, comedy and literature, music and business, and food and movies intersect at Rumsey Playfield in Central Park. And if you couldn’t make it there, we’ve got all the action here. We had Cynthia Nixon, Salman Rushdie, Hillary Clinton, Alex Rodriguez, Rose McGowan, Roxane Gay, Cindy Mi, Mark Sanford, Tom Perez, Common, Hasan Minhaj and Young The Giant on Day 1. And on Day 2, we’ve had Kirsten Gillibrand, Malcolm Gladwell, Jemele Hill, Chelsea Handler, Michelle Wolf, Laverne Cox, Grouplove, Passion Pit – and much more.
And it’s time to say goodbye – for now. That’s it from OZY Fest 2018! But we’ll be back next year. Till then, you can get the same mix of politics, culture, music, sports, literature and fun, daily at OZY. Thank you for spending your weekend with us, at Rumsey Field, on Facebook and Twitter, and on this live blog!
When you’re listening to Passion Pit, passion in the audience is guaranteed…and rain isn’t going to change that.
Indietronica band Passion Pit are performing now, in the rain at OZY Fest!
As Michelle Wolf ends her performance, an audience member is heard saying: “I am so happy. She is amazing.” We agree.
Michelle Wolf, asked in an interview with OZY if there’s anything comedians ought to do differently when covering politics, is clear. “I think if they’re gonna talk about Trump, they should stop doing all the tacky Trump jokes,” she says. “I think they should make sure that everything they’re saying has an actual punchline. If you’re gonna joke about politics, make sure they’re jokes. They’ve gotta have punchlines.”
Comedian Michelle Wolf is at OZY Fest, and she’s got the audience in splits already. She has a joke for every situation – even when a part of her set collapsed.
Want a beer? Get a shoe.
— OZY (@ozy) July 22, 2018
Grouplove is used to playing big festivals like Bonnaroo, but drummer Ben Homola says OZY Fest provides a unique experience.
“It’s a mix between music, politics and everything that’s kind of going on right now. It’s cool all these different people from different worlds can come together and be involved in the same festival in a positive light. … It’s not just a typical music festival.”
Roy Choi speaks of the time when he was fired for a corporate concept restaurant. “I felt like a wrinkled man, with a wrinkled suit, with a wrinkled resume.”
Roy Choi: “As Asian immigrants, we have champagne dreams on a beer budget.”
Choi speaks of his immigrant experience. ”As Asians, we weren’t really a generation or population that knew how to fight for ourselves,” he says. “If getting hit was one thing, getting your soul searched and removed without even knowing it was another thing.”
”When you got to hustle, you make things that no one else wants very delicious,” says Choi, referring to his use of the cheapest cut meat in the supermarket.
Celebrity chef Roy Choi gets ready to cook live at OZY Fest. He says he is dedicating his presentation to his “good friend Jonathan Gold,” the L.A. Times food critic who passed away on Saturday.
BREAKING NEWS: Jemele Hill tells OZY’s Managing Editor Fay Schlesinger that she’s considering moving on after her ESPN contract ends. “It feels very much like this next iteration of my career will be more about me being behind the camera, creating content, writing sripted and unscripted shows and movies than it will be in sports,” says Hill. “There are definitely some opportunities that have come up in the wake of this controversy.” Hill says she wants to focus on stories about women of color.
Jemele Hill on her suspension. “As much as I’d like to tell you about Golden State’s latest game or tell you about why Jacksonville can win the Super Bowl, some days I just didn’t give a shit because of everything else that was happening in this country. On that particular day I was caught in a moment when that frustration boiled over in a place where frustrations often boil over, which is Twitter.”
Sports journalist Jemele Hill is at OZY Fest. Hill talks about her parents’ struggles with drug addiction. “Whatever happens to me, if the president attacks me on Twitter, so what. Because I’ve seen waaaay worse.”
The winner of the trivia, Jeremy, wins round-the-world tickets from Lufthansa!
The audience groans again as one of the teams says Machu Picchu is in Chile. We have the best solution to cracking Rogowsky’s global questions. Follow OZY’s Around The World project, where we take you to every single country in the world, with original stories from there.
Scott Rogovsky, host of HQ Trivia, is leading trivia games on the main stage at OZY Fest. The crowd groans when a participant didn’t know that Leo Tolstoy wrote War & Peace. Then again, when a participant who has lived in New York for a decade, didn’t know that the New York Mets are known as The Amazins. “C’mon,” yells someone from the crowd.
Gladwell on taking feedback from others: “The point of feedback is not to alter your course, it’s to educate your course.”
“Just because the world says I should do X doesn’t mean I’m going to do X,” he adds.
Structural factors are more important than individual ones in determining success, says Malcolm Gladwell. “The people who succeed are the people who are allowed to succeed.”
To Gladwell, valorizing Silicon Valley leaders is a “dangerous stereotype about the distribution of talent in society.” We should have a new rule, he says: “Don’t talk about these leaders or billionaires one day each week.”
Gillibrand on why she used to be a moderate. “I wanted to really show I was prudent on financial issues. I’ve continued to show that… on immigration I did not have enough understanding of the issues that impact families all across this county and in New York. I was wrong.”
Gladwell, on race and parenting challenges: “Black parents have to privilege behavior over achievement. Success for a Black kid is behaving appropriately under the rules of society. While parents of White children can focus on achievement. And that is a huge advantage.”
Chelsea Handler, asked why Trump appears immune from blowback despite serial scandals, says: “I blame the Kardashians. I blame them for everything.” Handler and Gillibrand are speaking at a panel on Ladies of Liberty, moderated by Ana Kasparian.
Malcolm Gladwell has a recipe to avoid reinforcing the notion of likeability. ”It would be good if Twitter added a dislike button,” he says. “What if we thought the criticism we got was much more useful than the approval?”
Gillibrand on Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez: ”I don’t think it’s a change in the party. I think she ran an inspiring campaign … she really ran from her heart on issues she cares about.”
Gladwell on risk-aversion of NFL coaches: “Many football coaches are more interested in being agreeable, and doing what society of football people find appropriate, than doing something that would help them win the game.”
He asks why so many dyslexic people have become successful, and answers the question. “They got really used to non conforming. Most of us don’t have that much practice to be nonconforming.”
Gladwell: ”We are at a point where we are such sheep that I consider it an act of transgression to buy a Google laptop instead of an Apple one.”
Malcolm Gladwell on whether Trump is disagreeable: “I think of him at being very adept at manipulating people’s emotions. But fundamentally, he’s just a rich kid from New York….They have license to do crazy things because there is a very soft landing.”
New York Senator Kirsten Gillibrand says Donald Trump took Elizabeth Warren’s “it’s a rigged game” message and Bernie Sanders’ “Made in America” message. But “his [Trump’s] third message was a racist message.”
Author Malcolm Gladwell is at OZY Fest. Speaking on disagreeableness, he says: “If you don’t care one iota what your peers think of you, you are essentially a sociopath. But it is also a precondition for doing things that are extraordinary.” Asked if there’s a gender dynamic on willingness to be disagreeable, he says: “I should think not. Women have been socialized to be agreeable. But I don’t think they really are.”
Steyer isn’t done with Trump. “We want to impeach this president because he is lawless, reckless and dangerous for the American public,” he says.
Tom Steyer on what he would like different about U.S. politics: “If there were two things I would change [about U.S. democracy]… One, corporations aren’t people… Two, we gotta get rid of the electoral college. It’s gotta be one person one vote.”
Karl Rove, to the same question: “I like I like the constitution the way it is.”
Karl Rove: “The reason that Kerry lost in 2004 is he only focused on the base of the democratic party. The base is not enough to win an election.”
Speaking at a panel on the Future of Hollywood, Laverne Cox says: ”With any kind of progress forward for marginalized people, backlash is inevitable. But we have to make sure we’re not allowing the opposition to set the terms of my conversation.”
Taye Diggs, also speaking at the panel: : “Make sure if you are a performer, in a situation where you have an opportunity to lift your whatever-you-represent up, fuckin’ be good.”
Chelsea Handler on her political activism: ”I’m not trying to convert republicans to democrats, I’m encouraging young people to find one issue they’re passionate about and get them to vote.”
Speaking about gerrymandering and how it has worked both ways, Karl Rove says: “I live in Texas. When I moved to Texas, they hunted Republicans with dogs.”
Asked if he would run in 2020, Tom Steyer is non-committal. But Rove jumps in. “He’s running!”
Chelsea Handler on Donald Trump: ”My fantasy is seeing Donald Trump dragged out of the White House in his boxer shorts and landing in the Rose Garden.”
Karl Rove on Paul Manafort: “I’ve know Paul manafort for 45 years. I always thought he was a crook.”
It’s getting heated. Karl Rove to Tom Steyer: ”I did go to your website and I did waste an hour and a half.”
Chelsea Handler to Karl Rove: “Obama didn’t kiss Putin’s ass in front of the American people.” Tom Steyer jumps in too. “Enough, Karl. Enough.”
After Karl Rove compares Trump’s meeting with Putin in Helsinki to Barack Obama’s foreign policy with Russia, someone in the crowd shouts: “It’s not about Obama! It’s Trump’s administration!”
Tom Steyer speaks on economic inequality. ”Let’s talk a little about who’s getting the benefits of economic growth. The average working person has not had a raise since 1980,” he says. “We have seen a corporate takeover of our country.”
Steyer on Trump’s victory in 2016: “Let’s give the Devil his due. Trump did react to the despondency around the country but every prescription he has is bad. He attacks different parts of America to cover up his failings.”
Chelsea Handler on Trump’s presidency: “It’s a stain on American history but there is a wave of women and people of color being elected right now. We need to get the establishment out. Old White men are not reflective of what this country looks like.”
Handler speaks on which candidates to back: “Trying to decide whether we’re gonna be real left or middle left is a waste of time.”
Tom Steyer on Trump: “This is a guy who breaks a law every day…This is a president who has met the criteria for impeachment.” Steyer on the family seperation crisis at the border: ”This last month started with internment camps for children on the border.” Chant heard in the crowd: “Treason!!”
Karl Rove, veteran Republican thinker and adviser for President George W Bush, on the media’s depiction of Donald Trump: “The things that you are saying about him have been so over the top that you’ve succeeded in making him a sympathetic figure.” On the 2016 elections, Rove says: “Democrats succeeded in nominating the one person that Donald trump could best. And he beat her. And they’re on track to do it again.”
Karl Rove is speaking in a panel on impeachment, including comedian and actress Chelsea Handler and billionaire hedge fund manager Tom Steyer. OZY CEO and co-founder Carlos Watson is hosting the panel.
Laverne Cox from Orange is the New Black speaks about cisgender people playing transgender roles. “When we’re constantly under attack, when a cisgender person plays us that does not further the liberty of trans people,” says Cox. “If everything were equal and trans people weren’t constantly under attack, everyone playing everything would be a wonderful reality. But that’s not the reality.”
We’re ready to go!!
The final preparations for a fun Day 2 are on. We look forward to having you all with us soon.
It’s less than 45 minutes till we start.
— OZY (@ozy) July 22, 2018
Welcome back, for Day 2 of OZY Fest. We’re starting in two hours, and the excitement’s building up.
— Jemele Hill (@jemelehill) July 22, 2018
And that’s a wrap on Day 1 of OZY Fest 2018!!! Join us tomorrow for Day 2, and more fun and food, conversations and comedy, music and madness.
It’s raining but OZY Fest fans are still here, listening to Young The Giant perform.
The final act of the day: rock band Young The Giant perform at OZY Fest.
Comedian Hasan Minhaj performs at OZY Fest.
Comedian Hasan Minhaj tells OZY in an interview that he wants something more for his daughter than for her to become a stand-up comic.
Common performs at OZY Fest, amid a drizzle.
And you have OZY co-founder Carlos Watson giving out cookies.
At OZY Fest, guests don’t just get to listen to speakers and watch performers. They interact with them as well:
Today I met @MarcusCooks and he couldn’t have been nicer. Told him my Memphis-bred mom loved @GinnysHarlem and made her feel at home. He told me about his interview with @gardenandgun ? Yep, sounds like the South! #OZYFest2018 https://t.co/umrko5lXhP… pic.twitter.com/Yj71zIdlfi
— Kaydee Bridges (@kaydeebird) July 21, 2018
Speaking about Judge Kavanaugh, Hillary Clinton accuses Republicans of being opaque about sharing all past writings of the Supreme Court nominee. “You know Republicans want to avoid that.” She cites voting rights and gun rights among some of her concerns stemming from Judge Kavanaugh’s nomination. Republicans, she says, have always understood the importance of the Supreme Court better than Democrats. “It has to be a voting issue, and I hope it’s becoming one.”
— OZY (@ozy) July 21, 2018
Asked about the nomination of Judge Kavanaugh to the Supreme Court by President Trump on the retirement of Justice Kennedy, Clinton says: “The potential replacement of Justice Kennedy is so consequential for those human rights, for women’s rights, for LGBT rights.”
Hillary Clinton doubles down on the significance of the November elections. “It’s really important for young people, and the people here in this crowd, to recognize this generation of young people has more at stake than we adults. Making sure we don’t give up on what makes us such a great hope for ourselves and others. I keep mentioning this election in November, because people who care about any of these issues, it really is the most important act you can take.”
Speaking about America’s diversity, Hillary Clinton says: ”We should be a model for how a big, diverse, pluralistic society thrives together. Our diversity is one of our strongest assets in the 21st century. And change is always hard. I understand that.”
“For those of us who want to turn the clock back on that and say somehow that has hurt America, they just are not walking around with their eyes open; they are living in a very narrow understanding of what has already made us great.”
"Change is always hard. … [But] we have decades and decades of proof that absorbing immigrants … has been to our advantage. For those who want to turn the clock back, they are not walking around with their eyes open." @HillaryClinton #OZYFest2018
— OZY (@ozy) July 21, 2018
Laurene Powell Jobs asks Hillary Clinton about the consequences of alienating allies. ”Pretty soon we become less relevant,” Clinton replies. “Even assuming there is some coherent strategy in all of this that I don’t see, you would hope that it would be a strategy that would include greater American involvement in the world.”
Hillary Clinton concedes she didn’t get along with Putin when she was secretary of state. “To be fair, hardly anyone who believes in freedom gets along with him because he is always trying to intimidate and dominate and direct how people and nations behave.” Putin’s ultimate goal, she says, is to dominate Eastern Europe, Asia and the Middle East; to break up NATO and the E.U., and to destabilize democracies. And the U.S. election system, she says, is still vulnerable to Russian attacks.
— OZY (@ozy) July 21, 2018
Hillary Clinton on Putin: ”I don’t think there is any doubt that Vladimir Putin has a very clear strategy… As a former KGB spy, he is quite adept at reading people and knowing how to manipulate them.”
Hillary Clinton: ”This idea that we are somehow not sure where our own president stands is deeply disturbing. The best way to deal with that? Is to vote in November.”
Hillary Clinton speaks out on Trump and Russia: “The great mystery is why the president has not spoken up for our country. We saw that most clearly in this most recent meeting with Putin. We don’t know what was said in the room with just the two of them.” It’s crucial, in meetings with a leader like Putin, she says, to have note takers and others in the room, instead of the one-on-one Trump and the Russian leader had.
#HillaryClinton at #Ozyfest2018 on #Russianhacking: The great mystery is why #DonaldTrump hasn't spoken up for our country. We don't know what was said by the two of them in their one-on-one meeting. Putin is basically telling the world what was decided. Crickets from WH. pic.twitter.com/MLgYyUxbGz
— Janet Shan (@hinterlandg) July 21, 2018
Hillary Clinton on the Russia investigation: ”What does all this mean? It’s fair to say that it means that this was a very wrong, and unfortunately successful, cyber attack on our electoral system.” She refers to Director of National Intelligence Dan Coats’ comments that “alarms should be sounding” right now.
Hillary Clinton at OZY Fest: ”On the way here, I was on a conference call with some of the people who are on the frontlines trying to unite parents with their children who had been separated from them.”
”Part of what I’ve always tried to do because of my family, my belief and my service is to find ways that we can give everyone a chance, and try to even the odds. Whether it’s kids with disabilities, denied of adequate schooling, or adequate health care. And that’s what I thought our country always stood for – providing those ladders that would give people a better life.”
Former Secretary of State Hillary takes the stage, for a Q&A with Laurene Powell Jobs, founder of Emerson Collective, to loud applause. ”It’s great to be here at OZY Fest and to be with Laurene, who is a dear friend and an amazing leader on so many matters I think are important,” says Clinton.
Tune in NOW to watch my panel with @laurenepowell at #ozyfest2018 where we’ll discuss all that’s happening in the world, why we should all still be optimists, and where we go from here.https://t.co/UDSVvNEg7b
— Hillary Clinton (@HillaryClinton) July 21, 2018
Common at OZY Fest: ”You don’t have to be an artist or a journalist to effect change. Change happens in the small gestures that we give each other.”
Rose McGowan turns emotional, speaking about her rape and her crusade against the Hollywood establishment. “It is hard to work through trauma publicly. Thank God I’m a pretty crier.” She has a message for men too. “They get trapped. You’re stealing boys so early, you’re hurting them. There’s something called the imposter syndrome. I think an awful lot of men suffer from this. I would implore men to fight for who they are as humans.”
McGowan, being interviewed by OZY Managing Editor Fay Schlesinger, says: “MeToo is taking out the trash. My movement is bigger and stronger.”
McGowan on Hollywood: “I was told that if I didn’t have long hair, guys wouldn’t want to f— me. And if they didn’t want to f— me, they wouldn’t hire me.”
Tom Perez on Democrats in 2016: “We fell short. We stopped competing in all 50 states. The new Democratic Party is everywhere.”
Cindy Mi, CEO and founder of ed-tech firm VIPKID, which connects North American teachers and Chinese students online, tells OZY co-founder Carlos Watson how she was thrown out of middle school because she was reading science fiction in math class.
Tom Perez on Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, who won the Democratic primary in Queens, New York, and Conor Lamb, a Democratic Congressman who won a special election in Pennsylvania earlier this year: ”They are not trying to put fear on the ballot. They are trying to put hope on the ballot.”
Democratic National Convention chair Tom Perez at OZY Fest: “You had Donald Trump who blinked this week. He’s Putin’s poodle. And that’s the reality. This shouldn’t be an issue where you have Democrats and Republicans. This is an issue about America. This is our democracy. And by the way, they’re going to keep doing this. This was an act of war.”
During the Breaking Big panel at OZY fest, author and professor Roxane Gay says men sometimes ask her if she’s worried that most of her readers are women. “Well, women buy 80 percent of all books,” she says. ”So no.”
Famed model Naomi Campbell speaking now at OZY Fest. She says she’s seeing more diversity in the fashion industry now, compared to before.
— Andrea Brimmer (@AndreaBrimmer) July 21, 2018
At OZY Fest, you’ll find greater music, conversations, jokes and food. And you may just find a date too. Eureka O’Hara hosts a dating game.
Booker Prize-winnining novelist Salman Rushdie tells OZY Managing Editor Fay Schlesinger of a time when he met Donald Trump at a Crosby, Stills and Nash concert. ”I think he thought we had deeply bonded over Crosby, Stills and Nash.”
Mike Moe on the Future of Everything panel: “Demographics is one of the best views to what the future will be. There were more adult diapers sold in Japan last year than baby diapers. That tells us something about how to invest.”
Steven Pinker at the Future of Everything panel: ”Just because things are getting better doesn’t mean everything is getting better for everyone everywhere at all times. That wouldn’t be progress; that would be magic.”
Unsurpisingly, Cynthia Nixon is a hit with many OZY Fest visitors.
— Ashley Siegel (@AshleySiegs) July 21, 2018
Alex Rodriguez at the panel on How to Succeed in Business, speaking on the worst business advice he’s ever received. “Someone once said to me, ’you don’t need cash, cash is trash!’ and I said, ’Meeting over.’”
— OZY (@ozy) July 21, 2018
Tim Brown, founder of shoe company Allbirds, during the How to Succeed in Business panel, says: ”As a leader it’s about humility, listening, learning, always trying to get better and realizing you don’t always have the answer.”
Celebrity chef Marcus Samuelson cooks up a storm at OZY Fest.
Speaking to OZY co-founder Carlos Watson, baseball great Alex Rodriguez opens up about his suspension for taking steroids. ”First, I screwed up in a big way. Second, I doubled down and acted like an idiot.” Rodriguez was suspended in 2014.
Harvard psychology professor Steven Pinker, in a backstage interview at OZY Fest talking about the future of religion, says: ”The most common option when people change religion is to switch to No Religion – ‘None’ is the fastest growing religion. But that’s offset by the fact that religious people have more children.”
12: 35 pm
Cynthia Nixon takes on the Democratic establishment. ”We are sick of politicians who campaign as Democrats but govern as Republicans,” she says. “We must not only elect Democrats; we must elect better Democrats.” She commits that if elected governor, she’ll expand driving licenses to undocumented people in her first week in office. “New York is the rightful seat of resistance.”
Silicon Valley mega investor Mike Moe, in a backstage interview at OZY Fest, says innovation in blockchain, education, healthcare is going to lead to the next tech behemoth.
— OZY (@ozy) July 21, 2018
Cynthia Nixon speaks at OZY Fest: “We decided if we wanted to see real change, we were the ones who had to step up and bring it on.” The Sex and the City star and activist is competing to become New York’s first woman governor. ”The movement we are building in this country isn’t just about the next protest. It’s about offering a vision of how things can work,” says Nixon.
Thanks for your patience, friends. We’re waiting for you.
And we’re ready to go!! An hour away from the start!!
The world’s coming to cover OZY Fest. Join us Saturday and Sunday!
.@bbcideas is in New York! We’re here with @bbcworldservice for #OZYFest2018 in Central Park. Lots of great speakers lined up – we’ll be filming throughout the day. Come and say hi if you’re around ? pic.twitter.com/GIummnJzla
— BBC Ideas? (@bbcideas) July 21, 2018
Getting ready for the big day!
— Ana Kasparian (@AnaKasparian) July 21, 2018
- OZY Editors, OZY Author Contact OZY Editors