US publishers drop Dilbert office satire cartoon over ‘racist’ comments by creator


Several US media publishers are dropping the Dilbert comic strip after its creator described black people as members of “a racist hate group”.

Several media officials denounced the comments by creator Scott Adams as racist, hateful and discriminatory.

Dilbert is a long-running comic strip poking fun at office culture.

In an episode of the YouTube show Real Coffee with Scott Adams, Mr Adams referenced a Rasmussen Reports survey that asked whether people agreed with the statement: “It’s OK to be white.”

Most agreed, but Mr Adams noted 26% of black respondents disagreed and others were not sure.

The Anti-Defamation League says the phrase was popularised in 2017 as a trolling campaign by members of the 4chan discussion board, but then began being used by white supremacists.

Mr Adams, who is white, repeatedly referred to people who are black as members of a “hate group” or a “racist hate group” and said he would no longer “help black Americans”.

He urged white people “to get the hell away from black people”.

Read more:
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Study finds denying existence of structural racism is linked to anti-black prejudice

Scott Adams, creator of the comic strip Dilbert, poses for a portrait with the Dilbert character in his studio in Dublin, California. Pic: AP

The backlash

The San Antonio Express-News newspaper, which is part of Hearst Newspapers, said it will drop the Dilbert comic strip from Monday “because of hateful and discriminatory public comments by its creator”.

The USA Today Network tweeted to say it will also stop publishing Dilbert “due to recent discriminatory comments by its creator”.

The Plain Dealer in Cleveland and other publications that are part of Advance Local media also announced they are dropping Dilbert.

“This is a decision based on the principles of this news organisation and the community we serve,” wrote Chris Quinn, editor of The Plain Dealer.

“We are not a home for those who espouse racism. We certainly do not want to provide them with financial support.”

Christopher Kelly, vice president of content for NJ Advance Media, wrote the news organisation believes in “the free and fair exchange of ideas,” but said “when those ideas cross into hate speech, a line must be drawn.”

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