Cartoonist Who Drew Trump Mocking Dead Migrants Loses Contract
Viral cartoon indirectly blames president as being complicit in migrant deaths
A Canadian cartoonist, who drew President Donald Trump mocking the recent drowning deaths of a migrant father and daughter, has lost his contract with a newspaper publishing company after the drawing went viral across social media.
Brunswick Media Inc issued a statement on Sunday denying it has severed ties with artist Michael de Adder over the cartoon.
"This is a false narrative which has emerged carelessly and recklessly on social media," the company said in a statement.
"In fact, BNI was not even offered this cartoon by Mr. de Adder."
In the cartoon, Trump is seen standing over the dead migrants in his golf cart while holding a golf club and looking down at the bodies of Oscar Alberto Martínez and his daughter, Valeria.
"Do you mind if I play through?" Trump says in the cartoon.
'Play through' is a phrase used by golfers confronted with slow play ahead of them.
Later, De Adder announced that BNI had cut ties with him, calling the move "a setback not a deathblow."
"I'm not the type of person who's going to make a career out of being fired," de Adder tweeted Saturday.
"I'm still successfully drawing cartoons for other publications. I just need to recoup a percentage of my weekly income and get used to the idea I no longer have a voice in my home province."
BMI owns a vast amount of major print media outlets in New Brunswick, including daily newspapers and a total of 21 English and French-language weeklies.
The president of the Association of Canadian Cartoonists, Wes Tyrell, said in a Facebook post that de Adder's termination "was no coincidence" before BMI owner James Irving for not wanting to offend Trump.
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
"Michael told me once that not only were the [industrial conglomerate] J.D. Irving owned New Brunswick newspapers challenging to work for," Tyrell wrote.
"but there were a series of taboo subjects he could not touch. One of these taboo subjects was Donald Trump."
" ... 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. But his cartoon of June 26 couldn't be ignored," Tyrell added.
"... It went viral and social media stars like ['Star Trek' actor] 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."
The image of the dead migrants has been published across many left-leaning outlets to argue the case against Trump's border policies.
But many argue that the deaths could have been avoided if Alberto Martínez and his daughter, Valeria has not embarked on the treacherous journey.