Numerous newspapers have withdrawn Scott Adams’ long-running “Dilbert” comic strip after the cartoonist called Black Americans a “hate group” and urged white people to “get the fuck away” from them.
Gannett Co. – the largest newspaper publisher in the U.S. – said the USA Today Network will cease publishing “Dilbert” immediately. The USA Today Network includes USA Today and more than 300 local media outlets in 43 states. “Recent discriminatory comments by the creator, Scott Adams, have influenced our decision to discontinue publishing his comic,” Gannett said in a statement. “While we respect and encourage free speech, his views do not align with our editorial or business values as an organization.”
Other publishers have dropped “Dilbert” because of Adams’ racist remarks, including the Boston Globe, the Los Angeles Times and the Washington Post.
Because of Adams’ “racist rant,” Cleveland’s The Plain Dealer announced on Friday that “Dilbert” would no longer be published there. In a note to readers, Chris Quinn, the Plain Dealer’s VP of content, said other newspapers owned by Advance Local also stopped publishing the strip independently. The Advance Local newspapers in Michigan, New York, Pennsylvania, New Jersey, Alabama, Massachusetts, and Oregon are included in that group.
“Based on the current way things are going, the best advice I would give to white people is to get the hell away from Black people. Just get the fuck away,,” Adams said. “Wherever you have to go, just get away. Because there’s no fixing this. This can’t be fixed. So I don’t think it makes any sense as a white citizen of America to try to help Black citizens anymore. It doesn’t make sense. There’s no longer a rational impulse. So I’m going to back off on being helpful to Black America because it doesn’t seem like it pays off.”
As well as making numerous racially charged “jokes,” Adams claims that some of his projects have been cancelled because of his whiteness. In 2022, Adams introduced the first Black character in “Dilbert,” Dave the Black Engineer, who mocked workplace diversity and transgender identity (“I identify as white,” Dave the Black Engineer says in one strip).
“Dilbert” is syndicated by Andrews McMeel Syndication (formerly Universal Uclick), which has handled sales and distribution since 2011. According to the company’s website, it is the most copied, pinned up, downloaded, faxed and emailed comic strip in the world.
As a child, Adam was a Peanuts fan and began drawing comics at the age of six, according to Andrews McMeel’s biography of Adams. Over 40 “Dilbert” reprint books have been published, with “The Dilbert Principle” becoming a New York Times best-seller. Total “Dilbert” sales have topped 20 million units, according to Andrews McMeel.