A Canadian political cartoonist announced he was let go just two days after his illustration of President Donald Trump standing over the bodies of a drowned migrant father and daughter went viral on social media.
Michael de Adder tweeted Friday that he had been let go from his freelance contract with Canadian newspaper publishing company Brunswick News Inc. The announcement came after de Adder shared his June 26 drawing that depicts Trump standing next to a golf cart and looking down at the bodies of Óscar Alberto Martínez Ramírez and his 23-month-old daughter, Valeria.
In the cartoon, Trump asks, "Do you mind if I play through?"
"I've got to admit, it hurts pretty bad. I'm a New Brunswicker," de Adder said on Twitter. "I loved drawing cartoons for my home province. I'm a proud New Brunswicker. I will survive."
De Adder's cartoon is based on a graphic image taken by journalist Julia Le Duc showing the El Salvadoran father and daughter dead and facedown on the muddy riverbank of the Rio Grande.
— Michael de Adder (@deAdder) June 26, 2019
Brunswick News Inc., which operates the Telegraph-Journal, Times & Transcript and The Daily Gleaner as well as several weekly papers, issued a statement in response to "incorrect information on social media" about de Adder's contract.
"It is entirely incorrect to suggest Brunswick News Inc. cancelled its freelance contract with cartoonist Michael de Adder due to a cartoon depicting Donald Trump currently circulating on social media. This is a false narrative which has emerged carelessly and recklessly on social media," the statement read. "In fact, BNI was not even offered this cartoon by Mr. de Adder. The decision to bring back reader favourite Greg Perry was made long before this cartoon, and negotiations had been ongoing for weeks."
The timing of de Adder's termination "was no coincidence," said Wes Tyrell, president of the Association of Canadian Cartoonists, especially after 17 years with Brunswick News Inc.
"Michael told me once that not only were the J.D. Irving owned New Brunswick newspapers challenging to work for, but there were a series of taboo subjects he could not touch. One of these taboo subjects was Donald Trump," Tyrell said in a statement released on Facebook. "Michael deAdder [sic] has drawn many well-documented cartoons on Trump, they have however, systematically never been seen in the NB papers."
J.D. Irving, Limited and New Brunswick Inc. are owned by Canadian billionaire James K. Irving. Tyrell suggested that de Adder was let go because Irving didn't want to jeopardize his "considerable corporate interests in the United States," given that Trump "punishes those who appear to oppose him."
Contributing: Michael James, USA TODAY
Follow N'dea Yancey-Bragg on Twitter: @NdeaYanceyBragg
This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: A Canadian political cartoonist's drawing of Donald Trump went viral. Two days later, he was fired