Dilbert Stripped! The Cubicle Comic’s Been Nixed From 77 Newspapers

Author Scott Adams wonders if the comic’s cut was a reaction to his mocking of “wokeness” that’s been pervading office life

“Dilbert,” the long-running comic strip about the travails and absurdities of office life, has been given the pink slip at 77 newspapers nationwide, its author told Fox News.

Lee Enterprise, a media company that owns almost 100 newspapers, stopped printing the comic this week, said “Dilbert” writer and illustrator Scott Adams, who created the comic in 1989.

Adams said that he was aware that Lee was doing a “larger overhaul” of their comics, but he didn’t know why his in particular was shed. “Why they decided what was in and what was out, that’s not known to anybody except them, I guess,” he told Fox.

Adams noted that in recent years he’s sometimes poked fun at woke issues like ESG (Environmental, Social, and Governance) into his comic. ESG, which has taken a particularly strong hold in finance, has found itself in the crosshairs of the culture wars for incorporating its tenets into, for example, corporate and investment decision-making, among other things.

Another recent addition from Adams is a new character named Dave, who is Black but identifies as white.

“All of the wokeness and anything that permeated from ESG… so that stuff made its way into the business world, and then it became proper content for ‘Dilbert,’” Adams said. “The problem is that people see that even though it’s a workplace-related joke, but it’s more about how they implement it.”

Monday’s comic skewers corporate diversity quotas, with one character telling Catbert, “Our ESG score will drop if we open a new factory that adds CO2 to the atmosphere… but we can balance that out by adding more diversity to our board.”

When Catbert asks, “How much CO2 do you plan to add?” the character replies, “One non-binary board member’s worth.”

Some papers complained about this sort of content, Adams said, but he does not know if that played into the decision to remove “Dilbert” from scores of U.S. papers.

Aside from appearing in thousands of newspapers across the U.S. for 33 years, “Dilbert” has sprouted an empire of books (20 million printed), calendars, and a TV show that ran from 1999 to 2000.

The New York Daily News reports that comics “Baby Blues,” “Red and Rover,” “Mutts,” and “Bizarro” were also slashed from Lee’s papers. “Bizarro” illustrator Dan Piraro said that while most readers see his work online, print media is “our most reliable—and almost only —revenue source.”

“Dilbert” is in little danger of disappearing from print, however. According to Adams’ website, the cubicle comic appears in thousands of newspapers across 57 countries in 19 languages.

Adams is worth $75 million, according to Money Inc. Still, cutting his comic in 77 newspaper has had a major financial impact on the creator.

“It’s substantial,” Adams said.

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