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Newspapers cancel Dilbert comic strip after author’s ‘white supremacist’ slur on Black Americans

Nobody is laughing at Dilbert creator Scott Adams' racist rant.

Nobody is laughing at Dilbert creator Scott Adams' racist rant.

The creator of the Dilbert comic strip is at the centre of a media storm after scathing comments about Black Americans, including the advice to “stay the hell away” from them.

Several prominent US publishers moved immediately to drop the long-running strip, slamming creator Scott Adams for describing Black people as members of “a racist hate group” during an online video show.

Andrews McMeel Syndication, which distributes Dilbert, did not immediately respond on Saturday to requests for comment from Adams or from the syndicator about his remarks.

Dilbert is a long-running comic that pokes fun at office-place culture.

The backlash followed an episode this past week of the YouTube show, Real Coffee with Scott Adams. Among other topics, Adams referenced a Rasmussen Reports survey that asked if people agreed with the statement “It’s OK to be white.”

Most agreed, but Adams noted that 26 per cent of Black respondents disagreed and others weren’t sure.

The Anti-Defamation League said the phrase was popularised in 2017 as a trolling campaign by members of the discussion forum 4chan but then began being used by some white supremacists.

Growing boycott

Adams, who is white, repeatedly referred to Black people as members of a “hate group” or a “racist hate group” and said he would no longer “help Black Americans”. He urged white people “to get the hell away” from them.

The San Antonio Express-News, part of  the Hearst chain, said on Saturday it would drop the Dilbert comic strip, effective Monday, “because of hateful and discriminatory public comments by its creator”.

USA Today tweeted on Friday that it also will stop publishing Dilbert “due to recent discriminatory comments by its creator”.

The Plain Dealer in Cleveland and other publications that are part of Advance Local media also announced that they are dropping Dilbert.

“This is a decision based on the principles of this news organisation and the community we serve,” wrote Chris Quinn, editor of The Plain Dealer.

“We are not a home for those who espouse racism. We certainly do not want to provide them with financial support.”

Christopher Kelly, vice-president of content for NJ Advance Media, wrote that the news organisation believes in “the free and fair exchange of ideas”.

“But when those ideas cross into hate speech, a line must be drawn,” Kelly wrote.

-with AAP

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