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The “Dilbert” comic book named after its lead character who struggles to climb the corporate ladder and often pokes fun at office culture with satirical humor and social commentary has been canceled in nearly 80 markets, said its author to Fox News.
Scott Adams, who has written and illustrated the popular comic since 1989, said Lee Enterprises stopped printing it this week. The media company owns nearly 100 newspapers across the United States.
“It was part of a larger overhaul, I believe, of the comics, but why they decided what was inside and what was outside is not known to anyone but them. , I guess,” he told Fox News.
Fox News contacted Lee Enterprises.
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Adams noted that other comics have also been permanently canceled, but decisions on which to dispose of have been made individually.
“Dilbert” appears in thousands of newspapers across 57 counties in 19 languages, according to Adams’ website. The comic has been one of the most popular for many years and over 20 million “Dilbert” themed books and calendars have been printed.
In recent years, Adams has poked fun at workplace themes, most recently environmental, social and governance (ESG) issues and the introduction of a new character named “Dave”, who is black but is identifies as white.
Dave, named after Adams’ brother, is a prankster who likes to play with the boss, who is happy to have met his diversity quota, Adams said of the cartoon.
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“All of the revival and stuff that got steeped in ESG…so that stuff made its way into the business world and then it became appropriate content for Dilbert,” Adams said. “The problem is that people see this even though it’s a work-related joke, but it’s more about how they implement it.”
He said some newspapers had raised concerns after receiving content complaints, but he wasn’t sure it had anything to do with “Dilbert’s” removal.
In Tuesday’s comic, the supervisor is seen explaining to Dave how to increase the company’s ESG rating.
“Dave, I need to improve our company’s ESG score, so I’m offering to be our CTO. I know you identify as white, so this won’t help our ESG scores, but would it be too hard to identify as gay?” asks his boss.
“Depends how badly you want me to see it,” Dave replies.
“Just wear better shirts,” the supervisor replies.
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“What I do is I talk about how the employees are handling the situation. That’s not the goal. But it’s enough to make people think that I have to take sides politically,” he said. he declared.
Overall, the cancellation was a financial blow to him, Adams said.
“It’s substantial,” he said.