Issue of the Day: Canceled comic in the middle of a “woke” row

It’s a satirical comic strip that has entertained readers across America and beyond for more than 30 years, but Dilbert was canceled by dozens of newspapers amid a “woke” row.


Dilbert is written by American author and cartoonist Scott Adams, 65, and the strip – which was launched in 1989 – gained popularity in the 1990s. The cartoon offers a satirical look at office life in col engineer Dilbert’s white as he navigates American corporate culture.

So what’s going on?

Adams said this week that 77 newspapers — which he says are owned by a single company, Lee Enterprises — canceled his syndicated strip. And although it has an estimated worth of $75 million, he says the financial impact is “substantial”.

It comes like…?

The introduction of “anti-revival” content into his strips, with Adams noting that he incorporated culture into his creations. For example, lately he has introduced a new character called “Dave” to his strips, who is black but identifies as white. Adams told Fox News in America, “All the revival and stuff that got into environmental, social and governance (ESG)…so this stuff made its way into the business world. , then it became appropriate content for Dilbert.”

Other examples?

Other recent tapes follow the manager as he attempts to raise the company’s ESG rating – a set of standards that socially responsible investors use to assess a company. The character says, “Dave, I need to improve our company’s ESG rating, so I’m offering you to be our CTO (Chief Technology Officer). I know you identify as white, so that won’t help our ESG scores, but would it be too hard to identify as gay?” Dave replies, “Depends on how hard you want me to sell it ‘ and his boss says, ‘Just wear better shirts.


In Monday’s comic, the boss feared his ESG score would drop if “we open a new factory that adds CO2 to the atmosphere”, adding “but we can balance that by adding more diversity to our board of directors. administration”. And when the other character asks “how much CO2 do you plan to add?” “, the boss answers:” The value of a non-binary member of the board of directors”.

Now it’s abandoned?

Adams says some newspapers have complained about such content, but said the move “is part of a larger overhaul, I believe, of the comics, but why did they decide what was inside and what was not, that is not known to anyone but them, I suppose…”

Dilbert is global?

The strips appear in approximately 2,000 newspapers in 57 countries and in 19 languages. Dilbert also spawned 20 million printed books, calendars and a television program. Adams told Fox, “What I do is I talk about how the employees are handling the situation. It’s not about the goal. But it’s enough for people to think I have to take sides politically.