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'Dilbert' dropped from Star Tribune over creator's comments

Senior Managing Editor Suki Dardarian made the announcement Monday following comments by cartoonist Scott Adams roundly criticized as racist.
Credit: AP
FILE - Scott Adams, creator of the comic strip Dilbert, talks about his work at his studio in Dublin, Calif., on Oct. 26, 2006. Adams experienced possibly the biggest repercussion of his recent comments about race when distributor Andrews McMeel Universal announced Sunday, Feb. 26 it would no longer work with the cartoonist. In an episode of his YouTube show last week, 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 while saying they would no longer provide a platform for his work. (AP Photo/Marcio Jose Sanchez, File)

MINNEAPOLIS — The Star Tribune is the latest media source to sever ties with "Dilbert" cartoonist Scott Adams following recent public comments where he referred to people who are Black as a hate group. 

In an article on startribune.com Monday, Star Tribune Senior Managing Editor Suki Dardarian announced that the paper and its online holdings would no longer publish Dilbert, a long-running cartoon lampooning workplace culture. 

"The Star Tribune has ceased publication of the Dilbert comic strip because of creator Scott Adams' recent comments on YouTube. Adams' comments were hateful and racist. They violated our core values and standards and reached well beyond our guidelines for open debate. The comic strip will be removed from StarTribune.com on Monday," the editor's note said.

The backlash began following the Feb. 22 episode of the YouTube show “Real Coffee with Scott Adams.” Among other topics, Adams referenced a Rasmussen Reports survey that asked whether people agreed with the statement “It's OK to be white."

Most agreed, but Adams noted that 26% of Black respondents disagreed and others weren't sure.

Adams, who is white, repeatedly referred to people who are Black as members of a “hate group” or a “racist hate group” and said he would no longer “help Black Americans."

“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,” Adams said on his Wednesday show.

The Anti-Defamation League says the phrase "It's OK to be white" was popularized in 2017 as a trolling campaign by members of the discussion forum 4chan but then was adopted by some white supremacist groups.

In another episode of his online show Saturday, Adams defended his comments, saying he had been making a point that “everyone should be treated as an individual” without discrimination.

"But you should also avoid any group that doesn’t respect you, even if there are people within the group who are fine,” Adams said.

The Star Tribune has plenty of company in its decision. The Los Angeles Times cited Adams' “racist comments” while announcing Saturday that Dilbert would be discontinued and that its final run in the Sunday comics — which are printed in advance — will be March 12.

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

The USA Today Network tweeted 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 organization 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 organization believes in “the free and fair exchange of ideas.”

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

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