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Scott Adams: The cartoonist dropped by US newspapers over his racist tirade

Scott Adams’ Dilbert cartoons, which satirise corporate office culture in America, have been dropped by newspapers across the United States after the artist went on a racist rant.

Adams said that Black people are a “hate group” and made comments that seemed to favour segregation on his YouTube show, Coffee with Scott Adams.

But who is the cartoonist and has he had any past controversies? Here’s what we know…

Scott Adams’ background and career

Adams was born in New York in 1957.

His Dilbert comic strip exploded in popularity during the Nineties and reached a worldwide audience.

The cartoons are inspired by Adams’ jobs in various business roles before he became a full-time cartoonist in 1995.

He worked at telephone company Pacific Bell between 1986 and 1995, and the people he met there informed many of his Dilbert characters.

His cartoons were syndicated in 100 newspapers in 1991, but by 1994, this number had grown to 400.

Adams’ cartoons were adapted into a Dilbert TV series, which launched in 1999 and ran for two seasons on UPN. Adams served as executive producer and showrunner, along with Seinfeld writer Larry Charles. The show earned an Emmy in 1999.

Scott Adams speaking on his YouTube show (YouTube)
Scott Adams speaking on his YouTube show (YouTube)

In 2015, Adams started writing blog posts predicting that Donald Trump had a 98 per cent chance of winning the presidency based on his persuasion skills.

His articles became so popular that he decided to develop them into a daily video series, Coffee with Scott Adams, where he talks about current affairs, politics, persuasion, and how to be successful.

He is thought to be worth around $70m.

Controversies

Adams has said in recent years that being vocally supportive of Trump has damaged his career, reducing his income by about 40 per cent and his amount of friends by 75 per cent.

In 2020, Adams claimed on Twitter that the Dilbert TV series was axed years ago because he was white and UPN had decided to shift toward African American viewers.

That same year, he predicted that if Biden were to win the 2020 presidential election, then Republicans would be “hunted”. He said there was a “good chance” they would be “dead within a year”.

He has also previously compared women asking for equal pay to children demanding candy and has claimed there were “satanic coincidences” in the Joe Biden presidential campaign.

In September 2022, Dilbert was pulled from 77 newspapers after Adams started to incorporate “anti-woke plotlines”, including one about a Black character who identifies as white. His cartoons also mocked the ESG movement (also known as the environmental, social and governance movement).

Adams holding a Dilbert cut-out (AP2006)
Adams holding a Dilbert cut-out (AP2006)

Latest scandal

Reacting to a poll that found that 26 per cent of Black Americans said they disagreed with the phrase “It’s OK to be white”, Adams posted a video in which he said that Black people are a “hate group”.

He announced that he would no longer be helpful to Black people, claiming he had “done it all his life and the only outcome is getting called a racist”. He advised his white fans to “get the f*** away from them as fast as possible”, and made many other racist comments.

The Los Angeles Times, the Washington Post and USA Today-affiliated newspapers retracted the Dilbert comic strip after the remarks.

Cleveland Plain Dealer editor Chris Quinn, in a letter to readers, described Adams’ online comments as “mostly hateful and racist” and said that it was “not a difficult decision” to drop the cartoon.

“It’s a staggering string of statements, all but certain to result in the loss of his livelihood,” the editor wrote. “I hate to quote him at all, but I do so to dissuade responses that this is a ‘cancel culture’ decision.

“No, this is a decision based on the principles of this news organization and the community we serve. We are not a home for those who espouse racism. We certainly do not want to provide them with financial support.”