Social media is buzzing with a narrative implying that a Canadian cartoonist’s contract with a New Brunswick publisher was terminated due to his latest drawing that shows President Trump standing over the bodies of drowned illegal immigrants.
Michael de Adder announced Friday on Twitter that his contract with Brunswick News Inc. was not renewed, after 17 years working for them, and that his cartoons would immediately stop appearing in the company’s four newspapers.
A cartoon that the artist posted on Twitter a few days earlier reflected a photograph taken of two immigrants face-down in the Rio Grande after drowning in their attempt to cross the border into the U.S. …
— Michael de Adder (@deAdder) June 26, 2019
De Adder indicated in a tweet that, “Technically I wasn’t fired. I was under contract not employed.” He also did not correlate the viral Trump cartoon with the contract termination. The cartoonist stated that the cartoon in question was never slated to run in the Brunswick News papers.
*Technically I wasn’t fired. I was under contract not employed.
— Michael de Adder (@deAdder) June 29, 2019
The political cartoonist is not about to go hungry with the development. In fact, as a result of all the attention, it seems quite likely that his stock will rise in the long run.
BTW: I’m not a victim. I just finished a book, that will be out in September and I still freelance for some amazing newspapers. It’s a setback not a deathblow.
— Michael de Adder (@deAdder) June 28, 2019
Nonetheless, online social justice warriors are up in arms.
The timing of de Adder’s exit “was no coincidence,” said Wes Tyrell, president of the Association of Canadian Cartoonists, said in a Facebook post.
In the post, he wrote: “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.”
“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,” Tyrell added. “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.”
Brunswick News tweeted a denial that de Adder’s contract termination had anything to do with the viral Trump cartoon, saying the “reckless” “false narrative” on social media is “entirely incorrect.”
Please see the attached statement issued today by Brunswick News Inc. regarding incorrect information on social media about BNI’s freelance contract with cartoonist Michael de Adder. pic.twitter.com/173SSPMJYs
— Telegraph-Journal (@TJProvincial) June 30, 2019
“This is a false narrative which has emerged carelessly and recklessly on social media,” the company wrote. “In fact, BNI was not even offered this cartoon by Mr. de Adder. The decision to bring back reader favourite Greg Perry was made long before this cartoon, and negotiations had been ongoing for weeks.”
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