The comic strip Non Sequitur by Wiley Miller has been dropped by more than a dozen newspapers after a profane message aimed at President Donald Trump was discovered in the latest published strip.
In a now-deleted Tweet Wiley Miller pointed out that he left an Easter egg regarding President Donald Trump from his character Leonardo Bear-Vinci.
— DeplorableSteph⭐⭐⭐ (@beaglebabe48) February 12, 2019
It can be hard to make out what exactly the message says, but The Hill reports it reads, “We fondly say go f*** yourself to Trump.”
Publisher Andrews McMeel Syndication which publishes the comic strip in over 700 newspapers apologized in a statement on Monday:
“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.”
Andrews McMeel Syndication also confirmed that at least a dozen newspapers dropped the comic strip.
Miller issued a statement where he indicated he had forgotten all about the profanity in the comic strip, “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.” He would add, “It was not intended for public consumption, and I meant to white it out before submitting it, but forgot to.”
“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… Had I intended to make a statement to be understood by the readers, I would have done so in a more subtle, sophisticated manner,” Miller elaborated.
Miller added that he has drawn the strip for 27 years and “in all that time, I have never done anything like this, nor do I intend to do so in the future.”
As you can see above in his deleted Tweet, he teased the profane Easter egg on Sunday night.
The first publication to drop Miller’s Non Sequitur comic strip was The Butler Eagle in Pennsylvania. Publisher and General Manager of The Butler Eagle Ron Vodenichar explained his reasoning for dropping the comic strip:
“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. 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. We apologize that such a disgusting trick was perpetuated on the reading public. The Butler Eagle will discontinue that comic immediately.”
He would tell The Washington Post the decision had nothing to do with President Donald Trump, “One of our readers has a young daughter who reads the comics. This family sits down with this comic, and they stumble across this hidden message.” He adds the decision to remove the comic strip “has nothing to do with who it was aimed at.”
The Dallas Morning News also announced they would no longer carry Miller’s cartoon strip. Mike Wilson editor the paper explained:
We don’t mind political commentary in comics, as long as we have a chance to vet it and it meets our standards for publication. Unfortunately, this time the artist decided to go around his editors and even his own syndicate to publish something he must have known we wouldn’t accept. We can’t trust him, so we are done with Non Sequitur.
He added it was 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 Columbus Dispatch also dropped Miller’s cartoon strip. They explained their decision:
“Editors at The Dispatch did not see the words scribbled in fine print before the strip was published. That will not happen again.
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.”
Wiley Miller has taken his Twitter account down following this controversy.
What do you make of Miller’s cartoon? Do you agree with the newspapers that are dropping Non Sequitur? Or do you think they should keep running the comic strip?