A Pennsylvania newspaper has canceled its contract with a comic strip artist after his newest cartoon included a hidden message saying “go fuck yourself Trump.”
The Butler Eagle discontinued the syndicated comic strip “Non Sequitur” after readers complained of the off-color message directed at the President.
“A sharp-eyed Butler Eagle reader alerted the newspaper of what appears to be a vulgar shot at President Donald Trump in the Feb. 10 Sunday cartoon section, and it will cost the cartoonist his place in the Eagle’s Sunday comics,” the Eagle’s editorial explained.
“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,” the paper added.
Eagle publisher Ron Vodenichar then apologized:
“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.”
“We apologize that such a disgusting trick was perpetuated on the reading public. The Butler Eagle will discontinue that comic immediately,” Vodenichar said.
Here is the image of the Non Sequitur comic strip.
With the oh-so clever Trump insult pic.twitter.com/rlHwKqbHFj
— Fran Warren (@FranWarren) February 11, 2019
Cartoonist Wiley admitted that he put a “little Easter egg” in the cartoon. Naturally, he does not apologize.
The “Non Sequitur” comic is published in some 700 U.S. newspapers, according to USA Today.
The cartoonist still thinks his shot at Trump is funny. On Sunday he tweeted:
Follow Warner Todd Huston on Twitter @warnerthuston.