'Dilbert' cartoon dropped after racist rant by creator Scott Adams
By Sharon Bernstein
(Reuters) - The cartoon "Dilbert" has been dropped from numerous U.S. newspapers in response to a racist rant by its creator on YouTube.
Scott Adams called Black Americans a "hate group" and suggested white Americans "get the hell away from Black people" in response to a conservative organization's poll purporting to show that many African Americans do not think it's OK to be white.
"If nearly half of all Blacks are not OK with white people ... that's a hate group," Adams said on his YouTube channel on Wednesday. "And I don't want to have anything to do with them."
The comments ignited a furor on social media, along with calls for the conservative cartoonist's work to be dropped from publishers' rosters.
His once-popular comic strip, which lampoons corporate culture and was launched in 1989, will no longer be carried by the Los Angeles Times, the Washington Post, the USA Today-affiliated group of newspapers and others, the newspapers announced in statements on Friday and Saturday.
"This is not a difficult decision," Chris Quinn, editor of the Plain Dealer in Cleveland said in a letter to readers posted on Friday. "We are not a home for those who espouse racism."
The Los Angeles Times on Saturday said it too would drop the strip.
"Cartoonist Scott Adams made racist comments in a YouTube livestream Feb. 22, offensive remarks that The Times rejects," the newspaper said on its website.
The Times said it had removed four Dilbert cartoons from its pages in recent months because they violated the newspaper's standards.
Adams could not immediately be reached for comment by Reuters on Saturday. But on his YouTube channel, he confirmed his comic was being dropped - and said he had expected that to happen.
"By Monday, I should be mostly canceled. So most of my income will be gone by next week," he said. "My reputation for the rest of my life is destroyed. You can't come back from this."
Adams' initial remarks came in response to a conservative Rasmussen Poll that appeared to show that 26% of Black respondents said they disagreed with the statement "It's okay to be white." Another 21% said they were not sure.
However, Rasmussen also said the online and phone survey last week of 1,000 likely U.S. voters showed that 72% of Americans overall agree it's OK to be white, compared with 12% who disagree.
Adams said in his Wednesday rant that he had moved to a different location to get away from Black people, and urged other whites to do the same.
"I'm not saying start a war or anything like that," he said. "I'm just saying get away."
(Reporting by Sharon Bernstein; editing by Jonathan Oatis)