“Dilbert” comic strip creator Scott Adams experienced possibly the biggest repercussion of his recent comments about race when distributor Andrews McMeel Universal announced Sunday that it would no longer work with him.
Andrews McMeel Chairman Hugh Andrews and CEO and President Andy Sareyan said in a joint statement that the syndication company was “severing our relationship” with the cartoonist.
In Wednesday’s episode of his YouTube show, Adams described Black people as members of “a hate group” from which white people should “get away.” Various media publishers across the U.S. denounced the comments as racist, hateful and discriminatory while saying they would no longer provide a platform for his work.
Andrews and Sareyan said that, while Andrews McMeel supports free speech, Adams’ comments are not compatible with the company’s core values. Andrews McNeel is based in Kansas City, Mo.
“We are proud to promote and share many different voices and perspectives. But we will never support any commentary rooted in discrimination or hate,” Andrews and Sareyan said in the statement posted on the company website and Twitter.
The creator of the long-running “Dilbert,” which pokes fun at office culture, defended himself on social media against those who he said “hate me and are canceling me.”
The backlash against Adams arose following comments on “Real Coffee with Scott Adams.” Among other topics, Adams used the YouTube show to reference 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 extreme-right discussion forum 4chan and then began being used by some white supremacists.
Adams, who is white, repeatedly referred to Black people as members of a “hate group” or a “racist hate group” and said he would no longer “help Black Americans.”
“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,” Adams said on his Wednesday show.
In another episode of his online show 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.
“Dilbert” had already been dropped by several media outlets by the time of the announcement from its distributor.
The Los Angeles Times cited Adams’ “racist comments” in announcing Saturday that “Dilbert” would be discontinued Monday in most editions and that its final run in the Sunday comics — which are printed in advance — would be March 12.
Danielle Rhoades Ha, a spokeswoman for the New York Times, said: “We have decided to no longer publish the ‘Dilbert’ comic strip in our international print edition following racist comments by Scott Adams.” She said “Dilbert” was published in the newspaper’s international print edition but not in the U.S. edition or online.
The Washington Post said it would stop publishing Dilbert in light of “Scott Adams’s recent statements promoting segregation,” although the strip could not be prevented from running in some forthcoming print editions.
The San Antonio Express-News, which is part of Hearst Newspapers, said Saturday it would drop “Dilbert,” effective Monday, “because of hateful and discriminatory public comments by its creator.” And the USA Today Network tweeted Friday that it would stop publishing theh strip “due to recent discriminatory comments by its creator.”
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 that, “when those ideas cross into hate speech, a line must be drawn.”
Twitter CEO Elon Musk defended Adams in posts on the platform, saying the media previously “was racist against non-white people, now they’re racist against whites & Asians.”