On Feb. 26, 2023, Andrews McMeel Universal released a statement from the chairman, CEO, and president of the company announcing they would no longer work with cartoonist Scott Adams on the comic strip Dilbert. Since then, several newspapers, including The New York Times and The Washington Post, have agreed not to publish Dilbert in their print or digital editions.
What happened to the Dilbert newspaper cartoon? Keep reading for everything you need to know about creator Scott Adams's comments.
What happened to the cartoon 'Dilbert'?
Scott Adams's comic strip Dilbert was first published in April 1989. The comics follow Dilbert, an engineer in a satirical, white-collar office environment. The success of the cartoon quickly spawned books, a video game and an animated television series about the character, as well as themed merchandise items.
On Feb. 22, 2023, Scott Adams embarked on a racist tirade on his YouTube show, Real Coffee with Scott Adams, where he described Black people as members of a "hate group" from which white people need to "get away."
According to USA Today, his comments are based on a Rasmussen Reports survey, which asked whether people agreed with the statement "It's OK to be white." Scott observed that 26 percent of Black responders disagreed, thus sparking his tirade.
The Anti-Defamation League has noted that dating back to 2017, "It's Okay to Be White" is a trolling campaign by the website 4chan.
Scott Adams doubled down on his racist comments.
After public backlash for his comments, Scott defended himself on Twitter, saying in a post he "lost three careers to direct racism so far. Crocker Bank, Pacific Bell, and cartooning. All three were perpetrated by White people for their own gain. No Black person has ever discriminated against me. That's partly why I identified as Black for several years."
Andrews McMeel Universal released a statement explaining why they were dropping the Dilbert cartoon, saying, "We are disturbed by the personal views recently expressed by Dilbert creator Scott Adams, and do not support them in any way. Andrews McMeel Universal values free speech. We promote and facilitate many different voices and perspectives. But we will never support any commentary rooted in discrimination or hate."
The company also noted they would be releasing a more detailed statement soon.
Shortly after Andrews McMeel Universal's statement, newspapers around the country, including The New York Times, The Los Angeles Times, The Washington Post, the USA Today Network, and more began issuing statements saying they would no longer publish the Dilbert comics strip as a result of Scott Adams's comments. The Washington Post in particular cited Adams's comments as "promoting segregation."
On Feb. 27, Scott tweeted, "My publisher for non-Dilbert books has canceled my upcoming book and the entire backlist. Still no disagreement about my point of view. My book agent canceled me too."
Twitter CEO Elon Musk responded to Scott's tweets, writing that the media "was racist against non-white people, now they’re racist against whites & Asians."