Several prominent media publishers across the U.S. are dropping the Dilbert comic strip after its creator described people who are Black as members of “a racist hate group” during an online video show.
Various media officials denounced the comments by Dilbert creator Scott Adams as racist, hateful and discriminatory, while saying they would no longer provide a platform for his work.
Andrews McMeel Syndication, which distributes Dilbert, did not immediately respond Saturday to requests for comment from Adams or from the syndicator about his remarks. Dilbert is a long-running comic that pokes fun at office-place culture.
The backlash began following an episode this past week of the YouTube show, “Real Coffee with Scott Adams.” Among other topics, Adams referenced a Rasmussen Reports survey that had asked whether people agreed with the statement “It’s OK to be White.”
Most agreed, but Adams noted that 26% of Black respondents disagreed and others weren’t sure.
The Anti-Defamation League says the phrase was popularized in 2017 as a trolling campaign by members of the discussion forum 4chan but then began being used by some white supremacists.
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.”
The Los Angeles Times announced Saturday that it was halting Dilbert’s publication, noting on its website that it had chosen to go with a rerun of Dilbert four times in the last nine months because a “new daily strip did not meet our standards.”
The L.A. Times said its last publication of a Dilbert comic strip would appear in the Sunday, March 12, edition of the paper, because Sunday comics are already printed several weeks in advance.
The San Antonio Express-News, which is part of Hearst Newspapers, said Saturday that it will drop the Dilbert comic strip, effective Monday, “because of hateful and discriminatory public comments by its creator.”
The USA Today Network tweeted Friday that it also will 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 that they are dropping Dilbert.
“This is a decision based on the principles of this news organization 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 that the news organization believes in “the free and fair exchange of ideas.”
“But when those ideas cross into hate speech, a line must be drawn,” Kelly wrote.