Scott Adams and his Dilbert comic strip have been dropped by his syndicate Andrews McMeel. The news comes after several days of American newspapers declaring they were dropping the strip from their comics pages in the wake of the creator’s latest, highly-publicised racist rant, which took place on his podcast last week.
— Andrews McMeel (@AndrewsMcMeel) February 27, 2023
In a joint statement late on Sunday night, Andrews McMeel Universal’s chairman Hugh Andrews and its CEO and president Andy Sareyan said:
“Andrews McMeel Universal is severing our relationship with Dilbert creator Scott Adams. The process of this termination will extend to all areas of our business with Adams and the Dilbert comic strip.”
Without Andrews McMeel syndication, Dilbert immediately loses access to their enormous network of over two thousand worldwide newspapers who directly license Andrews McMeel syndicated strips such as Doonesbury, Calvin and Hobbes, For Better or For Worse, Garfield, and Nancy.
On the February 22 episode of his podcast Real Coffee with Scott Adams – which Adams records and posts daily – the Dilbert creator brought up a poll from right-wing polling company Rasmussen concerning the statement whether it was “OK To Be White”, read from it that up to 47% of the survey’s black respondents did not reply to the affirmative, and then declared black people as a “hate group”. He also told white people to avoid interactions with black people.
This is not the first time that Scott Adams has said, done, or published something controversial, in poor taste, or discriminatory, but the fallout from his latest YouTube rant has finally stirred the hornets’ nest enough for the wider press – and now his own syndicate – to take a stand.
Running since 1989, Dilbert is a satirical comic strip created by Adams that pokes fun at white-collar office culture. A wildly popular strip in its heyday, according to Andrews McMeel Syndication it could be found “in 2,000 newspapers in 65 countries and 25 languages” and is “the most photocopied, pinned-up, downloaded, faxed and e-mailed comic strip in the world.”
Newspapers and news groups that declared over subsequent days that they had dropped Dilbert from their pages and websites include the Washington Post, the Los Angeles Times, the New York Times, the Boston Globe, the USA Today Network (which has a large portfolio of over 300 local newspapers), Cleveland’s The Plain Dealer and its owner Advance Local (which also has a local newspaper portfolio).
Chris Quinn, editor of The Plain Dealer, said on February 24 that “we will no longer carry his comic strip” adding: “This is not a difficult decision.”
He then went on:
“[The podcast rant was] 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.
“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.”
USA Today Network owner Gannett said on social media the same day:
“At Gannett, we lead with inclusion and strive to maintain a respectful and equitable environment for the diverse communities we serve nationwide…The USA Today Network will no longer publish the Dilbert comic due to recent discriminatory comments by its creator.”
As the number of major outlets declaring their discontinuation of Dilbert grew, others started picking up the story to the point that TV news networks were featuring the furore – and Scott Adams’ racist comments. The BBC, Al Jazeera, Reuters, NBC, CBS, CNN were among the outlets covering the story. In fact the story has gone global in the press – and it seems you would be hard pressed to find a place that isn’t covering it.
Earlier on Sunday Andrews McMeel had responded via a post on social media saying:
“We are disturbed by the personal views recently expressed by Dilbert creator Scott Adams, and do not support them in any way. Andrews McMeel Universal values free speech. We promote and facilitate many different voices and perspectives. But we will never support any commentary rooted in discrimination or hate. We will be issuing a more detailed statement soon.”
Adams has continued to comment over the weekend. On another of his Coffee With Scott episodes, he seemingly sardonically described the situation – while depicting himself as entering the “third act” of a movie, where the protagonist begins in an inescapable situation:
“By Monday I should be mostly cancelled…most of my income will be gone by next week.
“Not only that. The income is the least important part. The important part is that my reputation for the rest of my life is destroyed. You can’t come back from this.”
This is so hypocritical. If the poll had been reversed, “Is it ok to be black?” everyone would be up in arms, as this is clearly hate speech.
Best way for Scott Adams to get back all his rights to self-publish Dilbert without needing any lawyer involvement or cost, well played.
Scott Adams wants to cancel black people? Boomerang, dude. Enjoy the consequences of your actions.
“Best way for Scott Adams to get back all his rights to self-publish Dilbert without needing any lawyer involvement or cost, well played.”
Who’s going to carry his work with all the negative publicity?
AFAIK, the Klan doesn’t have a publishing division!
And self-publishing is a labor-intensive, time-consuming pain-in-the-a$$
“Who’s going to carry his work with all the negative publicity?”
Any newspaper with a shred of intellectual dignity, that isn’t controlled by a massive corporation. Admittedly, this is a very small number.
Also, if the media had waited for a week rather than going for the insta-kill, I guarantee very few people would cancel their subscriptions over a YouTube channel nobody watches. However, I suspect the result of the current decision will have a lot more people canceling their newspaper subscriptions. Plenty of people only subscribe for the comics.
Of course, they don’t actually care about subscription revenue. Everyone knows the only purpose of the newspapers today is to spread political propaganda for the wealthy elite that fund them.
I just love it when the ‘deplorables’ self-destruct … aaaah, they’re sooo predictable …
P.S. In regards to the delusional simps posting here claiming that this is a ploy for Scott Adams to get his rights back so he can self-publish, he couldn’t even get enough support for his Dilbert TV show to be a hit in the late ’90s when it was topical; Who’s gonna support him now? BTW, Scott in his eternal victimhood claimed that UPN wanted to cater to a more ‘urban’ (aka black) audience so it dropped his Dilbert TV Show; The reality of the situation is that Dilbert’s ratings were in the toilet and it was going to to get cancelled anyways and the only reason UPN went in for a more urban audience was that African Americans were the largest groups of TV watchers – Scott is in effect angry at the SAME capitalist system that favors black American who watch a lot of TV which also allowed him to become a millionaire by creating a strip that was topical though largely mediocre.
But don’t let reality interfere with a narcissist self-destructing ….
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