The highs and lows of cartooning. Today I was just let go from all newspapers in New Brunswick.
Michael de Adder was born, raised, and educated in New Brunswick province and was a regular presence in its newspapers. Brunswick News Inc., which owns the Saint John Telegraph-Journal, the Moncton Times & Transcript, and the
Moncton Fredericton Daily Gleaner, has now disassociated itself from de Adder.
I’m a proud New Brunswicker. I’ll miss drawing cartoons for my home province.
More from Michael:
What’s crazier, a cartoonist getting fired from a newspaper for a cartoon he didn’t draw [@chappatte] or a cartoonist being fired from a newspaper for a cartoon they didn’t run?
*Technically I wasn’t fired. I was under contract not employed.
The above cartoon is apparently the one that went a step too far for Brunswick News Inc.
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.
According to Wikipedia de Adder “draws approximately 10 cartoons weekly and, at over a million readers per day, he is considered the most read cartoonist in Canada.”
Wes Tyrell, President of the Association of Canadian Cartoonists, has issued a statement:
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.
The Irvings have considerable corporate interests in the United States, but why would they care about cartoons potentially offending the American president?
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.
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.
A solid reason why an oil company has no business owning newspapers.
UPDATE JUNE 30, 2019:
Brunswick News Inc. has released a statement via the Telegraph-Journal Twitter feed:
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.
UPDATE JULY 1, 2019
In a series of tweets Michael de Adder has responded to the BNI statement:
Again – this was a series of tweets, not one thread.
Go to Michael’s Twitter feed to read the entire sequence.