Albany Herald joins newspapers in dropping 'Dilbert' comic strip

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Feb. 27—ALBANY — The Albany Herald has joined newspapers across the nation in dropping the "Dilbert" comic strip after creator Scott Adams released a racist rant on YouTube calling black Americans a "hate group" and suggesting that whites should "get the hell away from them."

Herald President Scot Morrissey said the newspaper would not continue to support, through running the comic, an individual whose comments foment segregationist ideals and demean a large segment of southwest Georgia's and the country's population.

"Scott Adams' viewpoint is not one that is shared by The Albany Herald or the overwhelming majority of Americans," Morrissey said. "And while we recognize the right of every American to hold and espouse viewpoints that are outside the accepted mainstream, we will not financially support someone whose comments are as hurtful and divisive as Adams' are."

Newspapers across the country dropped the "Dilbert" comic strip over the weekend after the creator of the satirical cartoon went on a racist tirade. The USA Today Network, which operates hundreds of newspapers, said it had pulled the plug on the long-running comic strip. The Washington Post and The Plain Dealer in Cleveland are among the individual newspapers that said they would no longer carry the comic.

The move came after Adams effectively encouraged segregation in the YouTube rant. His comments came in response to a poll from the conservative firm Rasmussen Reports that said 53% of black Americans agreed with the statement, "It's OK to be white."

"If nearly half of all blacks are not OK with white people — according to this poll, not according to me, according to this poll — that's a hate group," Adams said Wednesday on his YouTube show "Real Coffee with Scott Adams."

"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, just get the fk away ... because there is no fixing this."

Adams reportedly has since said on Twitter that he was only "advising people to avoid hate" and suggested that the cancellation of his cartoon signals that free speech in America is under assault.

Andrews McMeel Syndication, the company that distributes "Dilbert," has thus far not responded to media requests for comment.

Gannett, which publishes the USA Today Network of newspapers, tweeted that it aims to "lead with inclusion and strive to maintain a respectful and equitable environment for the diverse communities we serve nationwide."

The Washington Post said it also had pulled the comic strip from the newspaper.

"In light of Scott Adams' recent statements promoting segregation, The Washington Post has ceased publication of the Dilbert comic strip," it said.