The number of newspapers dropping “Dilbert” from their comic strip sections kept rising on Saturday as The Washington Post and The Los Angeles Times both announced that they will no longer print the strip following cartoonist Scott Adams’ racist rant in a YouTube live stream this past Wednesday.
“The Comics pages should be a place where our readers can engage with societal issues, reflect on the human condition, and enjoy a few laughs. We intend to maintain that tradition in a way that is welcoming to all readers,” the LA Times said in a statement.
“Dilbert” will run for the final time in the Post and the LA Times on Sunday as the Sunday comics sections are usually printed in advance. The two major newspapers join a list of publications cutting “Dilbert” that includes The Boston Globe, the Cleveland Plain-Dealer, and the USA Today network, which operates over 300 local newspapers including the Arizona Republic, Cincinnati Enquirer, Detroit Free Press, Indianapolis Star, Austin American-Statesman and Milwaukee Journal Sentinel.
These newspapers join 77 others that dropped “Dilbert” last year, including the San Francisco Chronicle, after Adams introduced a Black character to the strip designed to mock “woke culture.”
On Saturday, the Washington Post asked Adams how many newspapers still carry the strip. His answer: “By Monday, around zero.”
Debuting in 1989, “Dilbert” became a popular comic strip for its satirization of office culture, following a hapless Silicon Valley engineer as he navigates the follies of his pointy-haired boss alongside his jaded co-workers and megalomaniacal pet, Dogbert. The strip was adapted into an Emmy-winning animated series that ran for two seasons on UPN in 1999 and 2000.
But in recent years, Adams has come under fire for espousing far-right views and conspiracy theories on social media, and this past Wednesday, he ranted about a recent Rasmussen poll in which only a narrow majority of Black Americans agreed with the phrase, “It’s okay to be white.”
“If nearly half of all Blacks are not okay with white people … that’s a hate group,” Adams said on his YouTube livestream. “I don’t want to have anything to do with them. And I would say, 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 … because there is no fixing this.”
Early on Saturday, Adams dug in his heels on his comments even after the intense backlash. “A lot of people are angry at me today but I haven’t yet heard anyone disagree,” he tweeted. “I make two main points: 1. Treat everyone as an individual (no discrimination). 2. Avoid any group that doesn’t respect you. Does anyone think that is bad advice?”
But as the number of newspapers running “Dilbert” plummeted, Adams acknowledged on his livestream that he had done possibly irreparable harm to his career.
“Most of my income will be gone by next week,” he said. “My reputation for the rest of my life is destroyed. You can’t come back from this, am I right? There’s no way you can come back from this.”