The "Dilbert" comic strip has been ousted from 77 newspapers, Radar has learned.
Scott Adams, who has been drawing the comic since 1989, said that the removal began after he started putting stories that included "wokeness" in the comic strip.
Adams said that Lee Enterprises stopped printing the comic this week. The media company has nearly 100 newspapers under its umbrella throughout the United States.
"It was part of a larger overhaul, I believe, of comics, but why they decided what was in and what was out, that's not known to anybody except them, I guess," Adams said.
According to Adams, newspapers has permanently removed other comic strips recently, and he said all the decisions were made individually. "Dilbert," which has been a household name for many years, is included in thousands of newspapers in 57 countries and in 19 languages, Adams' website boasts.
Adams, who both writes and illustrates "Dilbert," has recently integrated stories dealing with the workplace that reflect on current culture. He's recently written comic strips that touch on environmental, social and governance (ESG) issues. He also recently introduced a character named "Dave," a Black man who identifies as a white man.
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"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 told Fox News, which first reported the "Dilbert" news. "The problem is that people see that even though it's a workplace-related joke, but it's more about how they implement it."
Adams told the outlet that some newspapers noted concerns after receiving complaints about the comic strips' content. However, he said he was unsure if that played into newspapers dropping the comic strip.
As Fox News notes, the "Dilbert" comic strip that was featured in many newspapers on Sept. 20, Dave's supervisor speaks with him about how to increase the company's ESG rating.
"Dave, I need to boost our company's ESG rating, so I'm promoting you to be our CTO. I know you identify as White, so that won't help our ESG scores, but would it be too much trouble to identify as gay?" the supervisor asks. "Depends on how hard you want me to see it," Dave says. "Just wear better shirts," the boss replies. "What I do is I talk about how the employees handle the situation. It's not about the goal of it. But that's enough to make people think that I must be taking sides politically," he said.
Adams said the cancellations have hit him hard in the pockets. "It's substantial," he said.