The creator of the Dilbert comic strip faced backlash over its cancellation on Saturday, while defending comments that described black people as members of a “hate group” from which white people should “stay away.”
Various media publishers across the US have condemned Dilbert creator Scott Adams’ comments as racist, hateful and discriminatory, while saying they will no longer provide a platform for his work.
Andrews McMeel Syndication, which distributes Dilbert, did not immediately respond to requests for comment Saturday. But Adams took to social media to defend herself against those who said they “hate me, cancel me”.
Dilbert is a long-running comedy that pokes fun at office-space culture.
The backlash began last week following an episode of the YouTube show “Real Coffee with Scott Adams.” Among other topics, Adams referenced a Rasmussen Reports survey that asked people whether they agreed with the statement “It’s OK to be white.”
Most agreed, but Adams noted that 26% of black respondents disagreed and the rest weren’t sure.
The Anti-Defamation League says the phrase was popularized as a trolling campaign by members of the discussion forum 4chan in 2017, but has since begun to be used by some white supremacists.
Adams, who is white, repeatedly referred to blacks as members of a “hate group” or a “racist hate group” and said he would no longer “help black Americans.”
“Based on the way things are going right now, the best advice I can give white people is to get the hell out of black people,” Adams said on his show Wednesday.
In another episode of her online show on Saturday, Adams made a point that “everyone should be treated as an individual” without discrimination.
“But you should avoid any group that doesn’t respect you, even if there are good people in the group,” Adams said.
Los Angeles Times Citing Adams’ “racist comments,” Saturday Dilbert will be discontinued in most editions, and its final run in Sunday Comics — which is in print early — is March 12.
San Antonio Express-NewsHearst will be part of Newspapers, which said Saturday it would drop the Dilbert comic strip starting Monday “due to its creator’s hateful and discriminatory public comments.”
USA Today Network It tweeted Friday that it would stop publishing Dilbert “due to recent discriminatory comments by its creator.”
Plain Dealer in Cleveland and other publications that are part of Advance Local Media also announced they were 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 racists. We certainly don’t want to fund them.
Christopher Kelly, Vice President of Content NJ Advance MediaHe wrote that the news agency believed in “free and fair communication”.
“But when those comments cross over into hate speech, a line must be drawn,” Kelly wrote.