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Non Sequitur Vulgar Message to Trump Costs Wiley Paper(s) – update: Cartoonist & Syndicate Respond

From the Butler Eagle:

“A reader brought to our attention that one of the syndicated comic strips which appears in the Sunday Butler Eagle may contain a hidden message which was apparently placed there by someone in the creative department of the creator of the comic strip or the syndication which controls it,” said Ron Vodenichar, Eagle publisher and general manager. “Neither the Butler Eagle nor any other newspaper that includes this strip had an opportunity to remove it even if they had discovered it before distribution.

The seemingly vulgar sentiment, which appears to begin with “We fondly say go …”, can be seen scribbled in the bottom right corner of the middle panel in Non Sequitur, by cartoonist Wiley Miller.

 

 

 

“We apologize that such a disgusting trick was perpetuated on the reading public. The Butler Eagle will discontinue that comic immediately,” Vodenichar said.

The Butler Eagle story about the comic strip.

The message did not go unnoticed by GoComics readers.

 

Cartoonist Wiley, on Twitter, doesn’t seem to be denying it.

UPDATE: The AP is now carrying the story.

 

February 11 Updates:

Cartoonist Wiley Miller and Andrews McMeel Syndication have issued statements.

STATEMENT FROM ANDREWS MCMEEL SYNDICATION:

Regarding the “Non Sequitur” Sunday comic published Feb. 10, containing vulgar language, we are sorry we missed the language in our editing process. If we had discovered it, we would not have distributed the cartoon without it being removed. We apologize to Non Sequitur’s clients and readers for our oversight.

 

STATEMENT FROM ‘NON SEQUITUR’ CARTOONIST WILEY MILLER:

            When I opened the paper Sunday morning and read my cartoon, I didn’t think anything of it, as I didn’t notice the scribbling that has now caught fire. It wasn’t until later when sharp-eyed readers pointed it out that I remembered doing it, as the cartoon was done about eight weeks ago. I now remember that I was particularly aggravated that day about something the president had done or said, and so I lashed out in a rather sophomoric manner as instant therapy. It was NOT intended for public consumption, and I meant to white it out before submitting it, but forgot to. Had I intended to make a statement to be understood by the readers, I would have done so in a more subtle, sophisticated manner. This coming Saturday will mark the 27th anniversary of Non Sequitur, and in all that time, I have never done anything like this, nor do I intend to do so in the future.

 

 

Wiley Miller Tells NBC News “”I own it. I did it.”

In an interview with NBC News on Monday, Miller admitted to writing those words and apologized — to his editors for putting them in a bad spot, not for the sentiment behind his cartoonish f-bomb.

“I own it. I did it,” Miller said. “It’s what I felt at the time.”

The cartoonist said the president angered him one day, two months ago when he drew the cartoon, and vented on paper.

“It was a mistake. If you’ve seen it, it’s just scribbled and it wasn’t meant to read, wasn’t meant to be legible,” Miller said. “I had intended to white it out before scanning and uploading it. I had completely forgotten about it.”

The full NBC News story.

 

The Dallas News Joins Butler Eagle in Dropping Non Sequitur

The Dallas News has decided to drop the Non Sequitur strip:

The Dallas Morning News will stop running a cartoonist who embedded an insulting expletive toward President Donald Trump in an editorial cartoon that appeared in hundreds of newspapers last weekend.

[Editor Mike] Wilson called it one of “the easier editing decisions we will make all year. We’ll have no trouble finding a better way to spend the $8,000 we would’ve paid for that strip.”

The Dallas News story also notes that…

The News was among four or five newspapers that had dropped the cartoon by Monday afternoon, according to a spokesperson for Andrews McMeel.

 

Columbus Dispatch Among Papers Cancelling Non Sequitur

 The Dispatch has canceled Wiley Miller’s “Non Sequitur” comic strip, daily and Sunday, because of foul language the author used in an attack on President Donald Trump in a comic strip published on Sunday, Feb. 10.

We must be able to trust that the people who provide content to The Dispatch will uphold the high standards we have set for this newspaper. That includes those who draw the comics.

Wiley Miller has lost our trust. Therefore, we will not publish his work going forward.

 

 

 

 

 

Community Comments

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#1 Paul Berge
February/11/2019
@ 12:05 pm

I love Wiley’s work, and I fear for his future at Andrews-McMeel now that he’s decided to channel Jim Carrey in a cartoon. But this is the sort of thing that convinces the Trump Loyalists that our revulsion at Mr. Trump can be attributed to some irrational hatred of the guy, rather than the fact that he’s a lying, intellectually lazy, narcissistic, boorish, bigoted egomaniac and a real and present danger to the Republic.

That said, it’s too bad that Non Sequitur is probably not run in the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette.

#2 Leslie Miller
February/11/2019
@ 1:55 pm

I feel for the poor cartoonist. I can easily see that happening, being an artist myself. It even happens with email: I’ve learned to be very careful with such “therapy”. I hope his career stays intact, I believe he’s telling the truth and it’s certainly understandable. Maybe after an apology and cooling off period, the Eagle will reinstate him. If not, lessons learned, and maybe it was worth it?! Vulgarities are generally best avoided, though.

#3 Robin Moore
February/13/2019
@ 8:59 am

Way back when, I did a Bush cartoon with the words “Lame Duck” across the page. Bush’s bewildered head got in the way of the letter “D”. Some people, and ducks, took offence.

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