Franklin Graham Suggests 'Cancel Culture' Is a 'Road Toward Communism'

Evangelical leader Franklin Graham has criticized the so-called "cancel culture" in response to reports that some employees at publishing giant Simon & Schuster are calling on the company not to publish former Vice President Mike Pence's memoirs.

More than 200 Simon & Schuster (S&S) staff have reportedly signed a petition asking that a seven-figure book deal with Pence be canceled and that the company commit to not making deals with former Trump administration officials.

Graham, who is president and CEO of the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association, criticized the effort on Facebook on Wednesday and linked it to current debates about "cancel culture."

"216 of publishing giant Simon & Schuster's employees were demanding that they cancel a book deal with former Vice President Mike Pence, but that's not all," Graham wrote.

"They demanded that the company not publish any books by ANYONE who was a part of the Trump administration!

"Simply put, the radical left and their 'cancel culture' want to silence the voices of conservatives who stand against their agendas. They are trying to take our country down a road toward communism—and America had better wake up."

"Thankfully, Simon & Schuster's CEO didn't cave and has announced they will be publishing Mike Pence's memoirs," said the son of the late evangelical Christian leader Billy Graham.

Those 216 signatories represent around 14 percent of Simon & Schuster's staff, according to The Guardian. The petition calls on the publisher not to treat the Trump administration as "a 'normal' chapter in American history."

"When S&S chose to sign Mike Pence, we broke the public's trust in our editorial process, and blatantly contradicted previous public claims in support of Black and other lives made vulnerable by structural oppression," the petition says.

S&S president Jonathan Karp ruled out canceling Pence's book deal, saying: "We come to work each day to publish, not cancel, which is the most extreme decision a publisher can make, and one that runs counter to the very core of our mission to publish a diversity of voices and perspectives."

"As a publisher in this polarized era, we have experienced outrage from both sides of the political divide and from different constituencies and groups," he said.

However, S&S did cancel a book deal with Senator Josh Hawley (R-MO) following the Capitol riot on January 6. At the time, the publisher said it could not "support Senator Hawley after his role in what became a dangerous threat to our democracy and freedom." The senator called the decision "Orwellian." The book was later picked up by conservative publisher Regnery.

This isn't the first time Graham has issued a warning about the dangers of communism or socialism in the U.S. On April 17, he said that a potential expansion of the Supreme Court could lead to the passage of "every piece of socialistic, agenda-driven legislation they can dream up to transform this country into a godless, secular society."

Newsweek has asked Franklin Graham and Simon & Schuster for comment.

Franklin Graham at the 2020 Republican Convention
Rev. Franklin Graham, son of the late evangelical Christian leader Billy Graham, pre-records his invocation to the Republican National Convention at the Mellon Auditorium on August 27, 2020 in Washington, DC. Graham has warned that "cancel culture" could lead down a "road toward communism." Drew Angerer/Getty Images