Cartoonist Who Created Disturbing Anti-Trump Image Loses Contract With Publisher
The photo of two migrants, a man and his one-year-old daughter who drowned in a tragic accident while attempting to cross the Rio Grande river in June, has quickly made the rounds on social media.
It gave anti-Trump liberals a perceived opportunity to blame President Donald Trump and his administration for their deaths, exploiting the tragedy for political gain.
One of the Trump haters who contributed to that unfair exploitation is a Canadian cartoonist named Michael de Adder.
Joining Democrats like presidential candidate Beto O’Rourke, who according to Politico accused Trump of being responsible for the deaths, de Adder posted on Twitter a disturbing cartoon mocking the president.
Cartoon for June 26, 2019 on #trump #BorderCrisis #BORDER #TrumpCamps #TrumpConcentrationCamps pic.twitter.com/Gui8DHsebl
— Michael de Adder (@deAdder) June 26, 2019
The cartoon drew both praise and criticism on Twitter and other social media platforms.
Just two days after posting the image, de Adder announced that he had just lost his gig with a popular New Brunswick publisher he had contracted with.
“The highs and lows of cartooning. Today I was just let go from all newspapers in New Brunswick #editorialcartooning #nbpoli #editorialcartooning,” he wrote.
The highs and lows of cartooning. Today I was just let go from all newspapers in New Brunswick. #editorialcartooning #nbpoli #editorialcartooning
— Michael de Adder (@deAdder) June 28, 2019
According to Fox News, Brunswick Media Inc. denied that the distasteful cartoon was behind its decision to let de Adder go, claiming that it had planned to bring on a new cartoonist weeks before the incident and that de Adder never offered the company the cartoon.
“This is a false narrative which has emerged carelessly and recklessly on social media,” the company said in a statement. “In fact, BMI was not even offered this cartoon by Mr. de Adder.”
Whether they’re telling the truth is anyone’s guess, but the timing of the controversial cartoon being published on social media and his subsequent contract termination 48 hours later would be quite a coincidence.
Wes Tyrell, the president of the Association of Canadian Cartoonists, said de Adder losing the gig was “no coincidence” in a statement he posted on Facebook, which has been removed from his page since the Fox News report was published. Tyrell implied that de Adder was purposely let go because the publisher didn’t want to offend Trump.
He also implied that BMI had further political motivations for letting de Adder go, as the company holds some level of interest in the oil industry and does business with the United States.
“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 … A solid reason why an oil company has no business owning newspapers,” the now-deleted statement read.
While de Adder’s Twitter followers offered him sympathy for losing the gig, his cartoon was in poor taste. Hopefully he has learned that controversial political expression can have its consequences.
Political cartoonists have a long history of influence and controversy in the United States and Canada. They enjoy free reign to draw and publish what they want, but like in other professions, that doesn’t mean they’re never held accountable.
Just ask comedian Kathy Griffin, who nearly lost her career after posting a disturbing picture of herself holding a severed, bleeding mock Trump head.
The work of comedians and cartoonists is vitally important, but when they use their art in disrespectful, exploitative ways, they won’t find a shoulder to cry on when they cross the line like de Adder did.
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