US media drops ‘Dilbert’ after comic creator’s racist remarks

Many newspapers in the United States have decided to no longer publish the popular “Dilbert” comic strip after its creator posted a racist video earlier this week calling Black people a “hate group”.

Scott Adams, who rose to fame in the 1990s with his satirical take on white-collar office life, has increasingly stoked controversy with his views on social issues.

But in a video posted on Wednesday, Adams took issue with a recent poll conducted by conservative-leaning Rasmussen Reports, whose results show that a small majority of Black respondents agreed with the statement “It’s okay to be white”.

“That’s a hate group and I don’t want anything to do with it,” said Adams. “Based on the current way things are going, the best advice I would give to white people is to get the hell away from Black people.”

In another episode of his online show on Saturday, Adams said he had been making a point that “everyone should be treated as an individual” without discrimination.

“But you should also avoid any group that doesn’t respect you, even if there are people within the group who are fine,” Adams said.

The USA TODAY Network, which operates hundreds of papers across the US, said on Friday evening that it “will no longer publish the Dilbert comic due to recent discriminatory comments by its creator”.

Chris Quinn, editor of The Plain Dealer in Cleveland, Ohio, said it “was not a difficult decision” for his paper to drop the comic strip.

“We are not a home for those who espouse racism,” Quinn added.

On Saturday, the Washington Post also said it was dropping the cartoon from its pages, though it was too late to stop the strip from publishing in the weekend’s print editions.

“In light of Scott Adams’s recent statements promoting segregation, The Washington Post has ceased publication of the Dilbert comic strip,” a spokesperson for the newspaper said.

The Los Angeles Times cited Adams’s “racist comments” while announcing on Saturday that Dilbert will be discontinued from Monday in most editions and that its final run in the Sunday comics — which are printed in advance — will be March 12.

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

Christopher Kelly, vice president of content for NJ Advance Media, wrote that the news organisation believes in “the free and fair exchange of ideas”.

“But when those ideas cross into hate speech, a line must be drawn,” Kelly wrote.

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