Newspapers Drop ‘Dilbert’ Comic After Creator’s Rant About Black ‘Hate Groups’

Hundreds of newspapers across the country will stop running the “Dilbert” comic strip after its creator said on a YouTube livestream that Black people were “a hate group” and that white people should “just get the hell away” from them.

The creator, Scott Adams, who was behind the widely syndicated comic strip that mocks office culture, was widely rebuked for his comments by newspapers that had printed his work for years.

The USA Today Network, which publishes more than 200 newspapers, said it “will no longer publish the ‘Dilbert’ comic due to the recent discriminatory comments by its creator.”

The Los Angeles Times said on Saturday that it would end publication of the comic strip because of his racist comments. And the editor of The Cleveland Plain Dealer, Chris Quinn, said that Mr. Adams went on a “racist rant” that had prompted the newspaper to also drop “Dilbert.”

“This is not a difficult decision,” Mr. Quinn said.

Other newspapers that said they would discontinue the comic strip include The Boston Globe, The Washington Post, The San Antonio Express-News and MLive Media Group, which has eight news publications in Michigan.

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.” The comic appeared only in the international print edition and not in The Times’s U.S. edition or online, she said.

Mr. Adams declined to be interviewed and said in a text on Saturday that “everything you need to hear” was on YouTube.

In that show on Saturday, he defended his remarks. He said that he was wrongly being canceled, that “you should absolutely be racist whenever it’s to your advantage” and that any change in society is a “racist change,” including changing the tax codes.

He also appeared to be reckoning with the rapid fallout, saying that “most of my income will be gone by next week” and that “my reputation for the rest of my life is destroyed.”

Andrews McMeel Syndication, the company that syndicates “Dilbert,” did not immediately respond to an email seeking comment on Saturday night.

In the video from Tuesday that led to backlash, Mr. Adams, who is white, said he had “started identifying as Black” years ago and then brought up a poll by Rasmussen Reports that found that 53 percent of Black Americans agreed with the statement “It’s okay to be white.”

Rasmussen Reports did not immediately respond to an email seeking comment on Saturday about its data.

Mr. Adams said in the video that he took issue with Black Americans who were polled and who had not agreed with that statement.

“That’s a hate group, and I don’t want to have anything to do with them,” he said, adding that it “makes no sense to help Black Americans if you’re white.”

Mr. Quinn, the editor of The Plain Dealer, described the comments as a “staggering string of statements, all but certain to result in the loss of his livelihood.”

“I hate to quote him at all, but I do so to dissuade responses that this is a ‘cancel culture’ decision,” Mr. Quinn said.

Mr. Adams, who has spent three decades crafting satirical commentary about the workplace for newspapers across America, has previously faced criticism for his extremist views and online provocations.

In 2019, he used a mass shooting at the Gilroy Garlic Festival in California to advertise an app he created.

The San Francisco Chronicle reported that it had stopped carrying “Dilbert” months ago because of jokes he made about reparations and efforts to diversify the workplace.

“His strip went from being hilarious to being hurtful and mean,” Emilio Garcia-Ruiz, the editor in chief of The Chronicle, said. “Very few readers noticed when we killed it, and we only had a handful of complaints.”

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