A true tale of an induhvidual
Many "cancellations" go too far, but Scott Adams has no one to blame but himself.
When we talk about “cancel culture,” there are three kinds of cases that usually come up:
People’s lives are destroyed because of some stupid thing they did when they were teenagers and/or based on misleading or blatantly false information. (The Covington Catholic kids, for example.)
Someone does something questionable or even bad, but the punishment doled out by the mob is grossly disproportionate to the crime. (Example: the “Central Park Karen.”)
The cancelled person f’ed around and found out, has no one to blame but himself, and maybe even wants to get “cancelled” as a publicity stunt.
For all the arguments about whether cancel culture “exists,” I think the real debate is which cancellations are justified. Self-professed “Anti-cancel-culture” activists have enthusiastically supported some cancellations, while the informal anti-anti-cancel-culture brigade which has emerged on social media (“cancel culture doesn’t exist and also it’s a good thing”) inevitably finds its own cases where the punishment goes too far.
By some miraculous coincidence, these exceptions to the rule just happen to depend on the subject’s political beliefs and whether he or she is on Team Red of Team Blue. I know, right?
Which brings me to the latest MAGA-adjacent person who suicide-bombed his mainstream career:
The cartoon Dilbert has been dropped from numerous Canadian and U.S. newspapers in response to a racist rant by its creator on YouTube.
Scott Adams called Black Americans a "hate group" and suggested white Americans "get the hell away from Black people" in response to a conservative organization's poll purporting to show that many African Americans do not think it's OK to be white.
"If nearly half of all Blacks are not OK with white people ... that's a hate group," Adams said on his YouTube channel on Wednesday. "And I don't want to have anything to do with them."
The comments ignited a furor on social media, along with calls for the cartoonist's work to be dropped from publishers' rosters.
The Toronto Star published a note in Monday's edition stating the comic will no longer appear in its weekend comic section because "recent racist comments by the cartoonist, Scott Adams, are not in line with the Star's journalistic standards."
Meanwhile, Postmedia, whose brands include several Sun papers across the country, says it decided over the weekend "to discontinue Dilbert effective immediately, for the reasons you've seen many other organizations in North America take similar actions."
The Globe and Mail said Sunday it would no longer carry the comic strip.
"While we respect and encourage free speech, his views do not align with our editorial or business values as an organization," the paper said in a statement posted to Twitter.
The company that distributes the Dilbert comic strip, Andrew McMeel Universal, announced on Sunday that it would sever ties with Adams over his comments. The company also operates the popular GoComics website, which scrubbed Dilbert from its site by Monday morning.
The Los Angeles Times on Saturday said it, too, would drop the strip.
"Cartoonist Scott Adams made racist comments in a YouTube live stream Feb. 22, offensive remarks that The Times rejects," the newspaper said on its website.
The Times said it had removed four Dilbert cartoons from its pages in recent months because they violated the newspaper's standards.
I enjoyed Dilbert back in the day, even buying some of the books like The Dilbert Principle and watching the short-lived animated series.1 One of my fondest memories of the dial-up era is the Dilbert email newsletter - yes, kids, people used to send out mass email ramblings long before Substack existed - featuring a segment called “True Tales of Induhviduals,” where people wrote in about brain-dead supervisors and colleagues with whom they’d been forced to work.2
Adams kind of got high on his own supply of sheer stupidity, unfortunately.
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