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Scott Adams, the creator of the Dilbert comic strip, is experiencing a bit of Karma after the discovery of some racist remarks.
The Prevailing Headline
It was a little over a week ago today that Scott Adams, creator of the popular comic Dilbert, saw his workload become lighter after he was dropped from several publications for discriminatory comments.
Adam’s Success with Dilbert
According to the New York Post, Adams has drawn Dilbert, a comic that satirizes office politics since 1989. Over the years, it gained massive popularity, leading to a variety of products, including a syndicated TV show in 1999. Dilbert had become a dominant feature of many of the most prestigious papers in the world.
The Influence of Comics
Despite the popularity of comics as simple entertainment, there is also a strong element of social commentary, however entertaining. As a journalist wrote in a Los Angeles Times editorial,
“Comics have unquestionably been a factor in the forming [of] both our lifestyles and our fantasies—perhaps more than we realized either then or now.”
What does that indicate exactly? A comic’s development, no matter how imaginative, creative, or entertaining, comes with a great deal of social responsibility. It is impossible not to check the virtue from which it came.
The Plight of Scott Adams
Recent comments have cast much speculation on Adam’s individualistic ideologies, even though it is not argued that they are evident in the comics. Given the vitriol of his statements, publications pulled the Dilbert comic. Respectively this resulted in a severe financial loss for the comic creator. In fact, Adams claims his income has fallen by 80% since the incident.
What Was Said?
According to CBS News, the Dilbert creator made several disparaging comments. As CBS notes,
“He [Adams] repeatedly referred to people who are Black as members of a ,”hate group” or a “racist hate group” and said he would no longer “help Black Americans.” He also urged White people “to get the hell away from Black people.”
And so Adams was released from several publications, and the reason cited was a violation of their standards.
Making Sense of the Situation
There has been an escalation in the crackdown on personal ideologies and their relationship to workplace professionalism. The increased use of social media and the irresponsible posting of ideologies have made it easier to rid the workplace of those who espouse intolerable and unacceptable musings. Of course, the question remains: how much do one’s personal proclivities affect how one operates professionally? And as we consider how much of this existed before social media, it leads one to question its pervasiveness, insidiousness, and overall impact.
Although such a divisive matter is one where many will have opinions on either side, the outlets have determined to take their position. The more important lesson here, however, is to observe how you conduct yourself on social media. It is increasingly clear that the issue is less one of integrity. It is rather a case of a blatant disregard for how personal proclivities appear to the broader community. The outing of Adams does not change his outlook; it merely exposes his ideologies. Given the enormous influence his social commentary has had for years, it makes one wonder about the implications of his more obscured perspectives. That is something that bears more significant consideration.
Written by: Renae Richardson