The creator of the Dilbert comic faced a backlash of cancellations on Saturday while defending statements that described black people as members of a “hate group” that white people should “get away from”.
Various media publishers in the US denounced Dilbert creator Scott Adams’ comments as racist, hateful and discriminatory and said they would no longer provide a platform for his work.
Andrews McMeel Syndication, which distributes Dilbert, did not immediately respond to requests for comment on Saturday. But Adams defended himself on social media against those he said “hate me and quit me.”
Dilbert is a long-running comic poking fun at office culture.
The backlash began last week following an episode of the YouTube show Real Coffee with Scott Adams. Among other things, Adams referred to a poll by Rasmussen Reports, which asked whether people agreed with the statement “It’s OK to be white”.
Most agreed, but Adams found that 26% of black respondents disagreed and others were unsure.
The Anti-Defamation League says the phrase was popularized in 2017 as a trolling campaign by members of the discussion forum 4chan, but was then used by some white supremacists.
Adams, who is white, has repeatedly labeled people who are black as members of a “hate group” or a “racial hate group” and said he “won’t help black Americans anymore.”
“Based on the current state of affairs, the best advice I would give to white people is to distance yourself from black people,” Adams said on his Wednesday show.
In another episode of his online show on Saturday, Adams said he advised 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 in the group who are fine,” Adams said.
The San Antonio Express-News, part of Hearst Newspapers, said Saturday that it will be shutting down the Dilbert comic strip effective Monday “due to hateful and discriminatory public comments by its creator.”
The USA Today Network tweeted Friday that it would also be ceasing publication of Dilbert “due to recent discriminatory comments from its creator.”
The Plain Dealer in Cleveland and other publications that are part of Advance Local Media also announced they were dumping 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 stand up for racism. We certainly don’t want to support them financially.”
Christopher Kelly, vice president of content at NJ Advance Media, wrote that the news organization believes in “the free and fair exchange of ideas.”
“But when those ideas spill over into hate speech, a line needs to be drawn,” Kelly wrote.