Multiple newspapers have pulled the popular office comedy comic strip "Dilbert" after its creator Scott Adams made racist comments in his podcast, and then doubled down on them.
"If nearly half of all Blacks are not okay with White people – according to this poll, not to me – that’s a hate group," Adams said during his "Coffee with Scott Adams" vlog, referring to a Rasmussen poll published this week. "That’s a hate group, and I don’t want anything to do with them."
"And I would say, based on the current way things are going, the best advice I can give to White people is to get the hell away from Black people," he continued, adding, "There is no fixing this … you just have to escape," which he said was why he moved to his current neighborhood that has "a very low Black population."
The poll that Adams cited asked two questions: (1) Do you agree or disagree with this statement: "It’s OK to be white," (2) Do you agree or disagree with this statement: "Black people can be racist, too." The poll found that 26% of Black respondents said "no" to the first question, and 21% said they weren’t sure, which Adams concluded meant 47% had a negative response.
Adams also referred to comments from CNN host Don Lemon, who has previously found himself in hot water for comments about predominantly Black neighborhoods. The comments Adams cited mentioned how Lemon described seeing "problems" that he didn't see living in a predominantly White neighborhood.
"I'm going to back off from being helpful to Black America because it doesn't seem like it pays off," Adams said. "The only outcome is I get called a racist … it makes no sense to help Black Americans if you're White. It's over. Don't think it's worth trying."
"I'm not saying we should start a war or anything - we should just get away," he said as he continued discussing race in education and other issues.
Some newspapers quickly responded by announcing they would no longer run "Dilbert," which has run in newspapers for more than three decades, Deadline reported.
MLive Media in Michigan wrote that it would not "spend our money supporting purveyors" of racism, and that the company would drop the comic from its eight newspapers and website "as soon as practically possible."
"The values we stand for as a company, as community members and as an employer of a diverse work force demand that we take immediate and unambiguous action against that kind of bias and stereotype," the company wrote in a statement posted on its main website.
"Adams’ views are his choice; our choice is not to associate our company with him. We are seeking a replacement for "Dilbert" and hope to have it for you soon in our newspapers."
MLive Media Group’s Vice President of Content John Hiner suggested readers not look at the original vlog or look up Adams comments, suggesting they should "save yourself the poison."
Cleveland’s Plain Dealer newspaper said its parent company, Advance Publications, was looking to drop Dilbert from its newspapers and online publications, including a number of local papers in Oregon, Pennsylvania and New Jersey.
Following the announcements, Adams took to Twitter to respond to various reports and comments. When one user said they found his comments heartbreaking, Adams insisted, "You should hear it in context. You would agree."
"Dilbert" had already faced a massive cut last year when 77 newspapers dropped the comic. Lee Enterprises, which calls itself a "leading provider of local news," said it dropped the comic as part of a cutback on how many comic strips it publishes.