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Was Dilbert ‘Cancelled’ as Comic Creator Scott Adams Suggests?

Because it was initially published in 1989, cartoon strip Dilbert has appeared in a large number of newspapers around the world, has been adapted for television, and made its creator Scott Adams a bestselling author.

While Dilbert, a satirical comic poking fun at office and career culture, has been enjoyed because of its gentle and witty humor, Adams has faced criticism in a few quarters in the last few years for several his outspoken views.

These have included jokes about transgender people, warnings that Republicans would “be hunted” under Joe Biden‘s presidency and that families could possibly be forced to “kill” teenagers unless society adopts his “solution” to the “danger” they pose to themselves or others.

Scott Adams
Scott Adams, cartoonist and author and creator of “Dilbert”, has claimed on Twitter that Dilbert was “cancelled” in a lot more than 70 US newspapers, sparking suggestions that the move was motivated by politics. Adams, pictured here, posing for a portrait in his office at home on Monday, January 6, 2014 in Pleasanton, Calif. Lea Suzuki/The SAN FRANCISCO BAY AREA Chronicle/Getty

Other comments have strayed in to the notional territory of “cancel culture” too; in June 2020, the cartoonist said, discussing the cancellation of the Dilbert Television show, “I lost my Television show to be white” and was “the 3rd job I lost to be white.”

So, when Adams announced on September 21, 2022, that Dilbert have been “cancelled” from 77 newspapers, suggestions that the move was politically-motivated started to spread.

Although Adams didn’t initially get this to accusation himself, tweeting only “#Dilbert was cancelled in 77 newspapers this week,” his tweet, nonetheless, seemed to initiate such commentary.

Comments such as for example “Many thanks to be a warrior for the proper things.” and “Hope Twitter doesn’t censor you” were on the list of replies to Adams’ initial tweet.

The Epoch Times, a right-leaning publication that liberal watchdog Media Matters among others accuse of peddling misinformation, provided a web link to Dilbert comic strips on its website, tweeting: “#Dilbert will not be canceled here”.

Adams later seemed to interact the commentary, sardonically remarking that Dilbert being “cancelled” was probably a “coincidence”, juxtaposed with a screenshot of a Bloomberg article headlined “Dilbert becomes the voice of ESG opposition.”

ESG, which means environmental sustainability, social inclusivity and responsible governance, identifies business policy centered on protecting the surroundings, supporting communities and sticking with regulations.

Viewed by some as a left-leaning strategy, the Bloomberg article noted Adams’ criticism of ESG and argued that “his position on ESG matches the political rhetoric from the governors of Florida and Texas, along with other Republican leaders.”

With all of this at heart, was Dilbert therefore “cancelled” as some have suggested?

While Adams said the strip was taken off print, Lee Enterprises (the business that owns the newspapers it really is thought Adams is discussing) have not made a formal statement on the problem.

However, articles from September 13, 2022, by cartooning industry website The Daily Cartoonist shows that Dilbert was one of several cartoons which were recently taken off Lee Enterprise publications.

It recently noted an update from The Martinsville Bulletin (among Lee Enterprises’ newspapers) stating it had “changed our lineup of comics on the net” and that numerous cartoons “such as for example Dilbert” will be only available online.

Dilbert
Since its launch in 1989, Dilbert continued to surface in a large number of comic strips and spawned a Television show. In this shot from January 1999, the type was invited to ring the brand new York STOCK MARKET opening bell to market the launch of the brand new Dilbert Television show. HENNY RAY ABRAMS/AFP via Getty Images

Another Lee Enterprises paper, the Waco Tribune-Herald, also stated that it might be “saying goodbye for some of the long-running strips.”

Within an update from September 20, 2022, The Daily Cartoonist included an additional set of comic strips also thought to have already been pulled from Lee Enterprise publications, including Bizarro, Snuffy Smith, and Red and Rover.

The business that syndicates comics to Lee Enterprises, Andrews McMeel Syndication, still lists Dilbert among its strips.

This seems to concur that Dilbert does not have any longer been syndicated for some of Lee Enterprises’ print publications.

However, without further confirmation from Lee Enterprises or other first-hand information, we can not confirm this is actually the case nor what the motivation might have been.

Some critics of Scott Adams said your choice was more prone to be budgetary instead of political, although Adams has argued “they still make individual decisions on which to help keep.”

Regardless, the idea that Dilbert is not any longer on the net due to political agendas hasn’t yet been substantiated. Indeed, a great many other comics thought to have already been dropped, like Red and Rover, are patently apolitical.

While that’s not to say your choice might have been motivated by politics, there is absolutely no reliable public evidence to verify this.

Moreover, the truth that Dilbert remains among cartoon strips syndicated by Lee Enterprises’ syndicator suggests it is not truly “cancelled” in the figurative sense.

Newsweek has contacted Lee Enterprises and Adams’ representatives for comment.

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