Canadian cartoonist fired 24 hours after one of his cartoons went viral
what’s crazier? a cartoonist fired from a newspaper for a cartoon he didn’t draw (recalling a phrase of Chappatte’s on this matter) or a cartoonist fired from a newspaper for a cartoon they didn’t publish?
That is the rhetorical question asked by Michael de Adder, the Canadian cartoonist and author of the image that heads this text.
The scene shows Donald Trump standing impassively by his golf cart in front of the lifeless bodies of Óscar Alberto Martínez Ramírez and his daughter Valeria, immigrants who drowned while crossing the Río Bravo and whom he asks if he can play over there.
Michael de Adder was fired from his job as an editorial cartoonist for Brunswick News Inc.’s leading newspapers 24 hours after the cartoon went viral on social media, de Adder had been working for the company for 17 years.
The publishing company is owned by James K. Irving, one of Canada’s richest people.
On 28 June, the cartoonist announced that his cartoons were being discontinued:
“The ups and downs of cartoons. Today I cease publication in all New Brunswick newspapers”.
He would later qualify the significance of his departure from the newspapers.
“By the way, I am not a victim. I just finished a book that will be out in September and I’m still freelancing for some amazing newspapers. It’s a setback, not a death blow”.
Trump, a taboo subject
Wes Tyrellthe current president of the ACC, the Canadian Cartoonists’ Association, has published his opinion, in which he weighs in on what he believes to be the reason for Adder’s dismissal: the Canadian publishing company’s business interests in the United States.
Although he (Michael de Adder) has stated that he was given no reason for his dismissal, the timing was no coincidence.
Michael once told me that not only was J .D. Irving difficult to work for, but that there were a number of taboo subjects that could not be touched. One of these taboo subjects was Donald Trump. Michael has drawn many well-researched cartoons about Trump, yet they have consistently never been published in the Brunswick papers.
Tyrell is clear:
It really is simple, J.D. Irving, Limited is not only a privately owned conglomerate (also engaged in oil) headquartered in New Brunswick, but it is also an international giant with global reach. Trade has been an issue since Trump took office, trade that directly affects the Irvings, not to mention a host of other problems. The president himself is a threat, as he punishes all those he believes to be his opponents.
Brunswick News Inc (BNI) has published this afternoon a statement denying that the cartoon about Trump is related to the end of the relationship with the cartoonist. Something that more than a few people don’t believe.
“This is a false narrative that emerged lightly and recklessly on social media,” they add.
They also state that “Mr de Adder did not even offer this cartoon to BNI” ( de Adder has never claimed this) and that the decision had been made for some time: “The decision to bring back Greg Perry (and they add with some reluctance “as a readers’ favourite”) was made long before this cartoon, and negotiations have been active for weeks”.
Greg Perry refuses to replace Michael de Adder
Update 4 July. Cartoonist Greg Perry, who was to be Michael de Adder’s replacement at Brunswick News Inc. says he no longer wants to work for the company and asked that his cartoons be taken off the editorial pages of its newspapers.(Source)
Perry said he was uncomfortable being labeled a“reader favourite” by BNI, which fuelled a backlash against him.
“That shocked me because at one point I felt like I was alone in front of the whole planet.”
Speaking to CBC News, Greg Perry said the social media backlash after BNI fired de De Adder and after using his name in statements about the decision has taken a toll.
“I don’t use social media, but there are people who have used social media to essentially destroy my character and my work as a cartoonist.”
“All this for a job that earns the same a month as a supermarket chain shop. I don’t wish this on anyone,” he added.”
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