Scott Adams, the “Dilbert” comics creator, may have experienced the biggest backlash for his recent comments about race when distributor Andrews McMeel Universal announced Sunday that it would no longer be working with him.
Andrews McMeel chairman Hugh Andrews and CEO and president Andy Sareyan said in a joint statement that the syndication company “severed our relationship with the cartoonist.”
On Wednesday’s episode of his YouTube show, Adams described black people as members of “a hate group” that white people “should get out of.” Several US media outlets denounced the comments as racist, hateful and discriminatory, 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 inconsistent 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 comments rooted in discrimination or hate,” Andrews and Sareyan said in the statement posted on the company’s website and on Twitter.
The creator of the long-running “Dilbert,” which pokes fun at office culture, took to social media to defend himself against those he says “hate me and cancel me out.”
The backlash against Adams arose after comments about “Real Coffee with Scott Adams.” Among other things, Adams used the YouTube show to reference 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 Black respondents disagreed and others were unsure.
The Anti-Defamation League says the phrase was popularized as a trolling campaign by members of the far-right discussion forum 4chan in 2017 and subsequently 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 state of affairs, the best advice I would give white people is to get the hell away from black people,” Adams said on his show on Wednesday.
On another Saturday episode of his online show, Adams said he had pointed out that “everyone should be treated as an individual,” without discrimination.
“But you also need to avoid any group that disrespects you, even if there are people in the group who are doing well,” Adams said.
“Dilbert” had already been dropped by several media outlets at the time of the distributor’s announcement.
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The Los Angeles Times cited Adams’ “racist remarks” when announcing Saturday that “Dilbert” would be discontinued in most editions Monday and that the last run in the Sunday comics – which are printed ahead of time – would be March 12.
Danielle Rhoades Ha, a spokeswoman for the New York Times, said: “We have decided to stop publishing the comic ‘Dilbert’ in our international print edition following racist comments by Scott Adams.” She said “Dilbert” was published in the paper’s international print edition, but not in the US edition or online.
The Washington Post said it would stop publishing Dilbert in light of “Scott Adams’ recent statements promoting segregation,” though it couldn’t prevent the strip from appearing in some upcoming print editions.
The San Antonio Express-News, part of Hearst Newspapers, said on Saturday it would drop “Dilbert” effective Monday “due to hateful and discriminatory public comments made by its creator.” And the USA Today Network tweeted Friday that it would stop publishing the comic “because of recent discriminatory comments from the 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 devolve into hate speech, a line has to be drawn.”
Twitter CEO Elon Musk defended Adams in posts on the platform, saying the media used to be “racist against non-white people, now they’re racist against white people and Asians.”