CancelCon takes on ‘Greatest Threat to Free Speech in American History’

Grand Canyon University quoted the New Testament of the Holy Bible in its rejection of the right-wing provocateur, as it stressed beliefs in unity and harmony versus that of Shapiro's combative and divisive rhetoric. GETTY IMAGES MARK RALSTON/CONTRIBUTOR

A number of pundits and celebrities have had their appearances or presences “canceled” under the phenomenon of “cancel culture,” in which social media companies, universities or even product brands sever ties or cancel events based on leftist criticisms or objections.

Now a group of those public figures is uniting for something dubbed CancelCon, a digital convention that they call “The biggest free speech event of the year.”

Speakers for the event will include Ben Shapiro, Dave Rubin, Dennis Prager and Adam Carolla, all of whom appear in a movie about the so-called “cancel culture” at universities called No Safe Spaces, a co-sponsor of the event.

Now, they are taking their acts to CancelCon, to be streamed online Sept. 17 and co-sponsored by Young America’s Foundation, one of the nation’s largest organizations for conservative youth.

Organizers say it is the first in what they hope will be an annual event “for as long as the cancel culture exists,” as one participant put it. The hope is that in the post-pandemic future it would be a physical convention, much like PolitiCon, which was last held in October in Nashville, Tenn., and included appearances by former Democratic National Committee chair Donna Brazille, former FBI Director James Comey and conservative commentators Ann Coulter and Tomi Lahren.

“People are being shut down or ‘canceled’ at an increasingly alarming rate for simply wanting to speak their mind,” Prager told Newsweek. “We are living through the greatest threat to free speech in American history. Free Speech was the one thing virtually every American agreed on. That this is changing is a far greater threat to America’s future than any foreign enemy.”


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