Elon Musk jumps to defend Dilbert comic creator Scott Adams following racist remarks

Ayaan Paul
Ayaan PaulFeb 27, 2023 | 15:06

Elon Musk jumps to defend Dilbert comic creator Scott Adams following racist remarks

Over the weekend, several newspapers in the US decided to stop featuring the Dilbert comic strip following its creator, Scott Adams's racist remarks. The cartoonist went on a tirade and labeled Black Americans as a "hate group," while suggesting that White people should distance themselves from them.

The USA Today Network, which manages hundreds of newspapers, confirmed that it has discontinued the comic strip. The Washington Post, The Los Angeles Times, as well as The Plain Dealer in Cleveland, also announced that they would no longer publish the comic.


Adams made these remarks in response to a poll conducted by the conservative company Rasmussen Reports. The poll stated that 53% of Black Americans agreed with the statement, "It’s OK to be White," which the Anti-Defamation League has connected to white supremacy on the Internet forum 4chan since 2017.

“I don’t want to have anything to do with them,” Adams added. “And I would say, based on the current way things are going, the best advice I would give to White people is to get the hell away from Black people, just get the f**k away ... because there is no fixing this.”
- Scott Adams responds to the Rasmussen Reports poll results

The Dilbert comics were created by Scott Adams, an American cartoonist and humorist. The first Dilbert comic strip was published on April 16, 1989, in several newspapers across the United States.

The inspiration for Dilbert came from Adams's own experience working in various corporate jobs before he became a full-time cartoonist. He observed the absurdities and frustrations of office life and decided to satirise them through his comics. Adams also drew inspiration from the work of other satirical cartoonists, such as Gary Larson's The Far Side and Garry Trudeau's Doonesbury.

In the early days of the Dilbert comic strip, it was relatively unknown and had a small following. However, as more and more people became familiar with the strip, it gained in popularity and began to appear in more newspapers across the US. Dilbert's popularity grew even more in the 1990s, as Adams began publishing collections of the comic strips in book form.

  • However, upon closer examination, it becomes evident that the comic strip contained a number of flaws that detract from its overall quality.

Harmful workplace stereotypes

Dilbert often reinforced harmful stereotypes about people in the workplace. The comics' portrayal of the workplace reality and its repeated use of problematic tropes perpetuated harmful attitudes towards minority workers in its fictional office space.

Dilbert's characters lack depth and complexity which its creator prided himself upon. While some characters are given more attention than others, they are ultimately reduced to one-dimensional caricatures that fail to reflect the complexity of real-life individuals.

While Dilbert has been praised for its satirical take on corporate culture, it is not immune to criticism for its own lack of diversity. The comic features a predominantly white, male cast of characters, with few characters of colour. 

Lack of diversity

The lack of diversity already made the comic feel dated and out of touch with contemporary work spaces and limited its ability to address important issues related to diversity and inclusion in the workplace.


Adams has previously attempted to justify his deliberate exclusion of characters of colour by citing fears of being called out for not depicting African American character’s “sensitively”.

Well, it was impossible to add an African-American. When you are as white as I am, you have to be careful. To make a comic strip character funny, you have to make him flawed, and that is a sensitive issue. I'm not sure other communities would have taken it well.
- Scott Adams in an interview, responding to his inclusion of Indian character Asok in the Dilbert comics

Chief Twit Elon Musk was quick to accuse the American media of being racist against Whites and Asians after the many newspapers dropped Dilbert.

Twitter has since been having a field day responding to Musk’s support of Adam’s statements and criticisms of the media.

Last updated: February 27, 2023 | 15:06
    Please log in
    I agree with DailyO's privacy policy