NEW YORK, Feb. 26 (BNA): Comic creator Dilbert faced backlash with cancellation Saturday as he defended remarks describing black people as members of a “hate group” that whites should “run away from.”
Various media publishers across the United States denounced comments made by Dilbert creator Scott Adams as racist, hateful, and discriminatory while saying they would not provide a platform for his work, the Associated Press reported.
Andrews McMeel Syndication, which distributes Dilbert’s, did not immediately respond Saturday to requests for comment. But Adams defended himself on social media against those who said, “They hate me and cancel me.”
Dilbert is a long-running comic who satirizes office place culture.
The backlash began in the aftermath of last week’s episode of the YouTube show “Real Coffee with Scott Adams.”
Among other topics, Adams pointed to a Rasmussen Reports poll that asked if people agreed with the statement, “It’s okay to be white.”
Most agreed, but Adams noted that 26% of blacks disagreed and some weren’t sure.
The Anti-Defamation League says the phrase was made famous in 2017 as a phishing campaign by members of the discussion forum 4chan, but then began to be used by some white supremacists.
Adams, who is white, repeatedly referred to black people as members of a “hate group” or “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 white people is to keep the hell out of black people,” Adams said on his show Wednesday.
On another episode of his web show on Saturday, Adams said he was making a point that “everyone should be treated as an individual” without discrimination.
“But you also have to avoid any group that doesn’t respect you, even if there are people within the group who are fine,” Adams said.
The Los Angeles Times cited Adams’ “racist comments” while announcing on Saturday that Dilbert would be off Mondays on most issues and that his last Sunday comics — which are preprinted — would be on March 12.
The San Antonio Express-News, part of Hearst Newspapers, said Saturday that it will drop the Dilbert comic strip, effective Monday, “because of hateful and discriminatory public comments by its creator.”
USA Today tweeted on Friday that it would also stop publishing Dilbert “due to recent discriminatory comments by its creator.”
The Plain Dealer in Cleveland and other publications that are part of Advance Local Media also announced that 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’re not a home for racists. We certainly don’t want to give them financial support.”
Christopher Kelly, vice president of content for NJ Advance Media, writes that the news organization believes in the “free and fair exchange of ideas.”
“But when these thoughts turn into hate speech, a line has to be drawn,” Kelly wrote.