Editorial Cartoon by Graeme MacKay, The Hamilton Spectator – Tuesday February 28, 2023
“Dilbert” creator Scott Adams continued to see his reach shrink Monday as dozens of newspapers and a major comic strip platform said they would no longer publish his long-running office workplace comic strip over his recent racist remarks.
Newspaper readers around the country were greeted by notes from publishers – and, in at least one instance, a blank space – alerting them to outlets’ decision to stop running the popular comic. Adams’ fate was effectively sealed Sunday evening when “Dilbert” distributor Andrews McMeel Universal said it was severing ties to the cartoonist. By Monday morning, “Dilbert” was gone from the GoComics site, which also features many top comic strips like “Peanuts” and “Calvin and Hobbes.”
In a Feb. 22 episode of his YouTube show, Adams described people who are Black as members of “a hate group” from which white people should “get away.” Various media publishers across the U.S. denounced the comments as racist, hateful and discriminatory while saying they would no longer provide a platform for his work.
Readers of The Sun Chronicle in Attleboro, Massachusetts, found a blank space in Monday’s edition where “Dilbert” would normally run. The paper said it would keep the space blank throughout March “as a reminder of the racism the pervades our society.”
Newspapers ranging from the Los Angeles Times and The Washington Post to smaller papers like the Santa Fe New Mexican and the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette have also said they would cease to publish “Dilbert.” The strip, which lampoons office culture, first appeared in 1989.
Two of Canada’s largest newspapers, The Globe and Mail and the Toronto Star, have also dropped the Dilbert comic strip over its creator’s remarks. (The Globe and Mail)
Meanwhile, Conservative Party of Canada Leader Pierre Poilievre is denying he ever spoke to a controversial German politician who recently claimed she spoke to him at least a “couple of times.”
Christine Anderson, a member of the European Parliament with the far-right Alternative fur Deutschland (AFD) or Alternative for Germany party, made the comments in a video posted to Twitter by the Western Standard media outlet.
In the video, Anderson is asked about her opinion of Poilievre, to which she responds, “I have spoken to him a couple of times, he seems to be a decent guy, and we need people that actually do think and go back to what democracy is all about and what elected representatives should do. It’s to be elected by the people and then represent and act in their best interests.”
Poilievre denounced Anderson last week after she met with three Conservative MPs during her recent tour of Canada in support of the “Freedom Convoy” movement.
Her tour included stops in Calgary, Toronto, Montreal and Whitby, Ont.
The three Ontario MPs — Colin Carrie, Dean Allison and former Conservative leadership candidate Leslyn Lewis — were pictured with Anderson, a meeting the Centre for Israel and Jewish Affairs said it was “deeply concerned” about.
The centre specifically pointed to the German AFD party Anderson belongs to as being “known for Islamophobic and anti-immigrant views.”
Skamski, Poilievre’s spokesperson, said in a previous statement that the MPs were unaware of her “vile” views and said they regret meeting with her.
Lori Williams, a political science professor at Mount Royal University, says the meeting with Anderson shows “poor judgment” as the Conservatives look to court moderate voters ahead of the next federal election and disassociate themselves from radical views.
“Many people in the party, many of their supporters, many who voted Conservative Party, do not endorse (Anderson’s) views,” she told CTV National News last weekend. “But that association has been a problem for the Conservatives in the past, and you would think they’d be doubly careful about associations that could revive those concerns.”
During her tour, Anderson appeared with convoy organizer Tamara Lich and two of her lawyers. She also posed for a photo with the flag of Diagolon, an online protest movement considered by some to be an extremist group.
In a video posted to Twitter on Friday, People’s Party of Canada Leader Maxime Bernier appeared with Anderson and called her an “honourary member” of the party. (CTV)
Letter to the Editor – The Hamilton Spectator – Friday March 3, 2023
Cartoon deeply offensive
The cartoon in Tuesday’s Spec which links the leader of the federal Conservative party with the KKK and with Dilbert is categorically unjustified and deeply offensive. Cartoons like contribute to growing cynicism toward political leaders.
Fred Spoelstra, Hamilton