New York (CNN) Newspapers across the country dropped “Dilbert” comic strips over the weekend after the creator of a satirical cartoon went on a racist rant, calling black Americans a “hate group” and white people needing to “get the hell out.”
The USA Today network, which operates hundreds of newspapers, said it had pulled the plug on the long-running comic strip. The Washington Post and The Plain Dealer in Cleveland also said they would no longer carry the comic.
The move comes after Scott Adams, the cartoonist behind “Dilbert,” shockingly effectively promoted segregation on YouTube. His comments come after a poll by the conservative firm Rasmussen Reports found that 53% of black Americans agreed with the statement “It’s OK to be white.”
The Anti-Defamation League noted that the phrase emerged as a trolling campaign on the infamous message board 4chan in 2017 and has a “long history” in the white supremacist movement.
“If almost half of all black people are not okay with white people — according to this poll, not my opinion, according to the poll — that’s a hate group,” Adams said Wednesday on his YouTube show “Real Coffee with Scott.” Adams.”
“I don’t want to have anything to do with them,” Adams added. “I would say based on the way things are going right now, the best advice I can give white people is to get the hell out of black people. This is it.”
Adams said on Twitter that he was “advising people to avoid hate” and suggested that the cancellation of his cartoon meant that free speech was under attack in America.
Andrews McMeel Syndication, the company that distributes “Dilbert,” did not immediately respond to CNN’s request for comment.
Newspaper clippings of comic strips are clear to readers.
“Scott Adams, creator of the Dilbert comic strip, went on a racist rampage this week … and we will no longer carry his comic strip in The Plain Dealer,” wrote the magazine’s editor Chris Quinn. “It wasn’t a difficult decision.”
“We are not a house that supports racism,” Quinn added. “We certainly don’t want to give them financial support.”
Gannet, which publishes the USA Today network of newspapers. Tweeted It aims to “lead inclusively and maintain a respectful and equitable environment for the diverse communities we serve across the country.”
The Washington Post said it had also removed the comic strip from the newspaper.
“In light of Scott Adams’ recent statements promoting divisiveness, The Washington Post has ceased publication of the Dilbert comic strip,” it said.