It’s a sad day for fans of mediocre comic strips. The long-running series Dilbert will be removed from several local and national publications after its creator, Scott Adams, called Black Americans a “hate group” and urged white Americans to “get the fuck away” from them in a recently uploaded YouTube video. On Friday, publications like the Cleveland Plain Dealer and the USA Today network announced that they’ll be severing ties with Adams due to his remarks.
“This is a decision based on the principles of this news organization and the community we serve,” wrote the Plain Dealer’s vice president of content, Chris Quinn, in a letter to the editor. “We are not a home for those who espouse racism. We certainly do not want to provide them with financial support.”
At @Gannett, we lead with inclusion and strive to maintain a respectful and equitable environment for the diverse communities we serve nationwide. #TeamGannett pic.twitter.com/GvHR1w9ae3
— USA TODAY NETWORK PR (@USATODAY_PR) February 24, 2023
On February 22, during his daily web show, Coffee With Scott Adams, Adams cited a study finding nearly half of Black people disagree with the statement “It’s okay to be white”—a slogan that, according to the Anti-Defamation League, was popularized in 2017 as part of a trolling campaign on 4chan. (The ADL has deemed the saying a “hate slogan.”)
“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.”
None of this should be super surprising to anyone who’s followed Adams, who’s been on this “anti-woke” shtick for a while. In 2020, he accused UPN of cancelling his Dilbert cartoon series because he was white. (That year, 77 publications under Lee Enterprises dropped the strip, as well.) His YouTube channel and Twitter account are filled with inflammatory remarks about women, racial minorities, and the LGBTQ community. In January 2022, Adams tweeted: “I’m going to self-identify as a Black woman until Biden picks his Supreme Court nominee. I realize it’s a long shot, but I don’t want to completely take myself out of the conversation for the job.”
I lost my TV show for being white when UPN decided it would focus on an African-American audience. That was the third job I lost for being white. The other two in corporate America. (They told me directly.)
— Scott Adams (@ScottAdamsSays) June 29, 2020
In 2022, Adams also introduced the first Black character to the Dilbert universe, Dave the Black Engineer, seemingly for the sole purpose of mocking diversity in the workplace and transgender identities.