I’m disappointed to write that star Canadian cartoonist, Michael de Adder, was cut from five Brunswick News, Inc. newspapers after drawing the cartoon below, about Donald Trump, golf and migrants. The New Brunswick newspapers didn’t run the cartoon that many say lost the gig for Michael, and they deny that they cancelled Michael’s contract because of the cartoon.
Wes Tyrell, the president of the Association of Canadian Cartoonists wrote about Michael’s firing:
Cartoonist Michael de Adder was let go from his job drawing editorial cartoons for all the major New Brunswick newspapers 24 hours after his Donald Trump cartoon went viral on social media, a job he held for 17 years.
Although he has stated there was no reason given for his firing, the timing was no coincidence.
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.
Michael deAdder has drawn many well-documented cartoons on Trump, they have however, systematically never been seen in the NB papers.
The Irvings have considerable corporate interests in the United States, but why would they care about cartoons potentially offending the American president? (As if Trump would be interested in reading news about Moncton, Saint John or even Restigouche.)
Even more puzzling, why would the Irvings care enough about a single Trump cartoon that they fire their award winning cartoonist?
A cartoon that didn’t even appear in their newspaper.
It’s simple really, J.D. Irving, Limited is not only a privately owned conglomerate headquartered in New Brunswick, its also an international behemoth with global reach. Trade has been an issue since Trump took office, trade that affects the Irvings directly, not to mention a host of other issues. And the President himself is an unknown quantity who punishes those who appear to oppose him.
Not long ago Rob Rogers lost his job at The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette for drawing cartoons about Trump, but he’s an American at an American newspaper. The Telegraph Journal and other newspapers in the chain are based in New Brunswick, and de Adder is a New Brunswicker.
Why is this happening in Canada?
de Adder’s Trump cartoons didn’t appear in the newspaper but they were viewed all across social media, something that probably went unnoticed most days by Irving. But his cartoon of June 26 couldn’t be ignored. The trope of political figures golfing and showing disdain for issues has been seen before, but deAdder’s take hit a nerve. It went viral and social media stars like George Takei even shared it. For a brief period de Adder was the poster boy for the Anti-Trump movement. A good place to be if you’re a cartoonist, but a bad place to be if you work for a foreign oil company with business ties to the United States.
Whether the powers that be in America would make the connection between de Adder’s cartoon and Brunswick News Inc doesn’t matter.
It seems that the Irving’s don’t want to take that chance. So they cut all ties.
A solid reason why an oil company has no business owning newspapers.
President – Association of Canadian Cartoonists
Editorial cartoonists are facing their toughest times ever as timid newspapers like The New York Times drop cartoons because cartoons can offend readers; conservative/Trump-supporting newspapers drop cartoons because they oppose Trump, and corporate bean-counters drop cartoons because editorial cartoons aren’t seen as bringing in income –often the entire editorial page is dropped.
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